TRAI Suggests Norms for Undersea Cables

Context: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued recommendations on rules for undersea cables connecting Indian telecom networks to the global Internet. Key Suggestions:
  • Ownership Proof: Indian telecom companies operating undersea cables should prove ownership of the cables in Indian waters.
  • Cable Landing Stations vs. Points of Presence (PoPs): Differentiate between cable landing stations and Points of Presence (PoPs), simplifying regulatory processes for PoPs.
  • Dark Fibre and Stubs: Permit the use of dark fibre on existing cable landing stations and allow the installation of stubs for future expansion.
  • Financial Viability for Repair Vessels: Explore financial models for Indian flagged ships to handle undersea cable repairs.
  • Critical Information Infrastructure Status: Designate undersea cables as critical information infrastructure for enhanced protection by NCIIPC.
What are Undersea Cables?
  • submarine communications cable or undersea cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean and sea.
  • The first submarine communications cables laid beginning in the 1850s carried telegraphy traffic.
  • Subsequent generations of cables carried telephone traffic, then data communications traffic.
  • These early cables used copper wires in their cores, but modern cables use optical fibre technology to carry digital data, which includes telephone, Internet and private data traffic.
  • Today, there are around 380 underwater cables in operation around the world, spanning a length of over 1.2 million kilometres.
Additional Information About Telecom Regulatory Authority of India:
  • It was a statutory body established by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.
  • Objectives of TRAI:
    • To regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services.
    • To create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.
    • To provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.
 News Source: The Hindu

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