Mumbai: The Telecom
Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has suggested lowering of foreign direct
investment level for internet service providers (ISPs) from the existing 100 per
cent to 74 per cent, on par with the telecom sector.
its recommendations to department of telecom (DoT), the sector regulator also
suggested major changes in financial and regulatory levies. Against the current
free entry, TRAI recommended levying entry fees of up to Rs20 lakh and a uniform
licence fee of six per cent of gross revenue.
national level licence, ISPs will have to pay Rs20 lakh as entry fee while it
will be Rs10 lakh for state level ISPs. The minimum annual licence fee has been
pegged at Rs5,000 for district level ISP, Rs10,000 for state level and Rs50,000
for national level ISP.
having 100 per cent FDI equity should be given two years for reducing foreign
holding to 74 per cent, it said.
suggestions, if accepted, could make increase the cost of Internet and broadband
services in the country but improve services .
regulator has taken a tough stand as the objective of competition and growth of
Internet have not been met.
of 700 licences issued within three years of opening of ISP sector to private
service providers, only 389 licensees exist today. As per the performance monitoring
report with TRAI, only 135 Internet service licensees are functionally active,"
present, there''s one set of norm for internet with telephony and another for internet
without telephony. The new regime, as per the Trai recommendation, would move
away from the current norm of
two sets of licensing.
over internet protocol (VoIP) offered by Indian ISPs, that allows long-distance
calls at a much cheaper rate than through regular telephony, may be controlled
to some extent, sources said.