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|May 29, 1997||
Tomorrow's private ISPs may be allowed to bypass VSNLIf the Department of Electronics and the Department of Telecommunications have their way, India's future private Internet service providers won't have to go through Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited's gateway.
This and other recommendations which could end VSNL's monopoly as the country's only ISP, are included in a DoE draft paper on Internet policy, which is being drawn up together with the DoT. The paper may be announced next month.
The paper is said to suggests there should be no ceiling on the number of ISPs and that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India should not have the power to fix service charges.
DoT officials are likely to review the DoE paper before the two departments draw up a draft policy paper which will be passed up to the Telecom Commission and thereafter to Communications Minister Beni Prasad Verma and the Union cabinet.
The policy is intended to stop VSNL from being both regulator and service provider. This will ensure all service providers are treated equally.
DoT officials had suggested that VSNL route ISP access to the Internet but private parties claimed this would affect the quality of their service.
DoT and DoE are also deciding on the licence fees to be charged on ISPs. Already 16 firms have applied to the DoT for licences, including AT&T, British Telecom, Compuserve, MCI, Wipro BT, Sprint RPG, HCL, Datapro, Fujitsu ICIM, Icnet, Allent Technologies, Bharti Telecom and CMC.
The DoE has also suggested that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India set up a transparent tariff mechanism for interconnect charges.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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