New wireline telephone numbers to be allocated on basis of actual utilisation

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Written by Aashish Aryan
| New Delhi |

October 25, 2020 1:11:36 am





Only after the data shows at least 80 per cent of access codes or telephone numbers allocated in the past have been utilised by way of activation of such numbers, will new numbers be allocated, the DoT said. (Representational Image)

In an effort to streamline the allocation of access service code and weed out inactive wireline telephone numbers allocated to telcos, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has modified its process and said the new numbers would be allocated only on the basis of actual utilisation to date.

The data on total utilisation of numbers allocated in the past shall have to be verified by the regional Licensed Spectrum Access (LSA) unit of the DoT in which the operator is present.

Only after the data shows that at least 80 per cent of the access codes or telephone numbers allocated in the past have been utilised by way of activation of such numbers, will new numbers be allocated, the DoT said.

As of July 31, India had a total of 116.4 crore telephone subscribers, of which less than 2 crore were wireline subscribers, according to data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai). Sector regulator Trai had recently expressed concerns over the low penetration of wireline and broadband services in the country.

In August this year, the regulatory body had sought comments from telcos, industry representatives and other experts on the ways to increase broadband proliferation. In the consultation paper, Trai had highlighted that the lock-down enforced in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic had forced many government and private enterprises as well as the common people to rely heavily on broadband connections for working from homes.

“The widespread availability and use of broadband have both economic and social benefits. In the post pandemic era, like potable water and electricity, access to broadband would become a necessity. It would be difficult to imagine life without broadband connectivity,” Trai said.

One of the questions that Trai sought answers to from telcos and other experts was that even though fixed broadband services were more reliable and are generally more capable of delivering higher speed internet, why did its subscription rates remain so low domestically.

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