Telecom Commission

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Under fire from the telecom regulator for going slow on key telecom policy reforms, the Telecom Commission has decided to take up recommendations made by the TRAI on four initiatives, including allowing unrestricted Internet telephony. The Commission, which is the apex decision making body of the Department of Telecom, is expected to meet on February 2. Other proposals that will be taken up by the Commission includes improving the effectiveness of National Internet Exchange of India, provision of calling cards by long distance operators and issues relating to transition to a new Internet standard (from IPv4 to IPv6) These recommendations were made by the telecom regulator over the past three years. On January 16, the outgoing Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Mr Nripendra Misra, had said that some of its recommendations on next generation telecom reforms are still awaiting decision from the Government. If the Commission decides to accept TRAI’s proposal on Internet telephony then consumers will be able to make calls using the Internet and with a PC or a laptop. At present Internet users are allowed to make calls to a mobile user or a fixed line subscribers residing outside the country. The regulator has proposed to allow Internet telephony for domestic calls too. The policy on calling cards will allow subscribers the freedom to choose the long distance telephone services provider. This will permit long distance operators to directly sell packages to consumers through the pre-paid cards. As of now an Airtel subscriber has to use Bharti Airtel’s long distance network to make STD calls. The proposal on moving to a new Internet standard - version 6- will offer improved address space, quality of service and data security capabilities. TRAI had suggested transition from IPv4 to IPv6 in India in view of fast expanding Internet usage and increased demand on the IP address space. The Hindu Business Line : Telecom Commission to take up 4 TRAI plans