labels: industry - general, telecom, telecom regulatory authority of india
''Compensate consumers for broadband delays'': TRAI to ISPs news
07 October 2006

Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked broadband service providers to pay monetary compensation to consumers for any delay in correcting faults or providing connections after taking an upfront deposit.

TRAI has fixed a minimum credit of Rs10 a day to the customer in all cases where payment towards installation charge and security deposit is taken and the broadband connection is not provided within 15 working days.

For correcting faults or repairs, TRAI said, if these are not done within three working days, the operator should pay a rebate equivalent to seven days of minimum monthly charge. ISPs that take advance payment for a new connection must also ensure that it works for over 90 per cent of the time every quarter, and over 98 per cent beginning September 2007.

In addition, the speed of the connection must immediately be over 80 per cent of the speed a subscriber is paying for, and ISPs are also not to run a "congested'' broadband network, without providing for additional broadband to help them meet the above criteria.

TRAI has decided that over 90 per cent of the customers of an ISP must be "satisfied" with the service over a quarter. In addition, more than 90 per cent of customers must also be satisfied with the billing and customer service quality provided. Any shortfalls will reflect in TRAI's quarterly rating of the ISPs.

The directives follow the increasing number of consumer complaints about deficiency in broadband service and lack of a proper mechanism to redress grievances. With the number of broadband connections growing from 50,000 in 2004 to over 1.7 million in August 2006, the number of complaints about service quality has also been rising.

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''Compensate consumers for broadband delays'': TRAI to ISPs