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DoT Updates Definition of Broadband

  • 16 Feb 2023
  • 4 min read

Why in News?

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on recommendation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has updated the definition of broadband for telecom operators, increasing the minimum speed requirement to 2Mbps from 512Kbps which had been in place since 2013.

  • By the previous definition, there were 825.38 million broadband users in India in November 2022, according to TRAI data.

What is the New Definition?

  • Broadband is a data connection that can support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 2 Mbps (Megabits per second) to an individual subscriber from the point of presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service,
    • Wired broadband and wireless broadband will both be subject to this 2Mbps limit.
  • Updation of definition was overdue as The National Telecom Policy 2012 which was replaced by The National Digital Communications Policy 2018, had set a goal of updating the definition of broadband to 2Mbps by 2015.

What is the Current Status of Broadband Speeds?

  • According to Ookla’s Speed test Global Index (December 2022):
    • Median Wired Broadband Speed in India is over 75Mbps.
    • Median Wireless Broadband (mobile) Speed is over 36Mbps.
  • Broadband speed is expected to further increase as 5G network expands.

What is the Industry’s Viewpoint?

  • Industry resisted the definition update as 4G networks may not be able to sustain 2Mbps speed due to too many devices connected to single tower or user being far from nearest base location.
  • The actual speed available to or experienced by the customer will vary depending upon several dynamic factors.
  • With focus towards affordability and availability, the previous definition of 512 Kbps for broadband should have been continued.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q.1 WiMAX is related to which one of the following? (2009)
(a) Biotechnology
(b) Space technology
(c) Missile technology
(d) Communication technology

Ans: (d)

  • Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) is a family of wireless broadband communication standards. It stands for “Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access”. It is a wireless communication technology based on Wireless Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) technology that is optimized for the delivery of IP centric services over a wide area.
  • WiMAX is a standardized wireless version of ethernet, intended primarily as an alternative to wire technologies (such as cable modems, DSL and T1 or E1 links) to provide broadband access to customer premises.
  • WiMAX would operate similar to WiFi, but at higher speeds over greater distances and for a greater number of users. WiMAX can provide service even in areas that are difficult for wired infrastructure to reach and can overcome the physical limitations of traditional wired infrastructure. Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.

Source: TH

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