April 6: Telecom Regulator Authority of India (TRAI) has submitted a proposal to Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha in a bid to bring down the cost of internet by around 90 per cent. The proposal suggests the use of Wi-Fi grid based on open-architecture to effectively cutting down the cost to one-tenth of the current level.
The proposal, according to news sources, was submitted to Sinha by TRAI chairman RS Sharma. In addition to cutting down the cost, setting up Wi-Fi grids will also help Digital India by enhancing connectivity across regions including remote locations. RS Sharma has been quoted as saying that internet at very low cost was a basic requirement of Digital India.
“There are limitations in internet services in the country as there are only wireless networks and no wired connectivity, hence Wi-Fi is the cheapest possible mode of internet,” Sharma has been quoted as saying. The Telecom Minister has said that further discussions would be held by government and the regulator to look forward on modalities of implementing in the near future.
The proposed system will make use of cloud services for authentication of both service provider and service seekers. Accounting and payment settlement will also be facilitated using the cloud services. Registration would be made simple, and one click authentication will be enabled for payments and access to the network. Users will also be able to connect more than one device in a single session.
With grid Wi-Fi, any entity including companies, societies, proprietorship etc. will find it easy to setup a public Wi-Fi access point. TRAI opined that packages could be offered at as low as two in the form of sachet-sized packages.
The proposed Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (WANI) has already got the backing of multiple entities including public data offices (PDO), app providers/software and hardware service providers, all of whom have participated in the tests that were carried out to assess the specifications in real life conditions.