India mandates access regime for cable landing stations

Posted on December 3, 2006  /  3 Comments

India’s Department of Telecom (DoT) has mandated non-discriminatory access to international cable landing stations which are an essential facility for a host of international data and voice services. VSNL has agreed to open three landing stations to all operators on a non-discriminatory manner. LIRNEasia has been pushing for having access regimes in place for telecom infrastructure bottlenecks like cable landing stations and backbone in a number of countries we work in. Hopefully, this will be emulated in other countries in the region.
DoT will also introduce resellers for international bandwidth in order to further bring down international bandwidth prices since the liberalization of the international gateway (IGW) in 2002. Currently, there are four operators that own IGW and there are eight submarine cables landing into the country. At least five other cable systems are expected to land in India in the near future. Although, there is enough international capacity (over 18 terabits, 1 terabit lit), there is not enough price competition for international bandwidth. Introducing resellers will hopefully lower bandwidth prices further. The article below states that in the USA, out of 32 bandwidth providers, 26 are resellers. This is also the case in many EU countries where the operators of IGW are small but there are a large number of resellers that have ensured that prices remain competitive.

DoT to allow resellers in international bandwidth Thomas Thomas, Business Line, Nov 26, 2006.


  1. In 2003, non-discriminatory and cost-oriented access to the ONE cable landing station that LK has was identified as a regulatory priority. If this action was taken at that time, Sri Lanka would be leading India, not vice versa.

    But at least now, the TRC should study the TRAI’s proposals and do something. Progress on BPOs cannot be achieved without this.

  2. TRAI favours light security conditions for bandwidth resellers
    New Delhi, Dec. 24 (PTI): TRAI is understood to be in favour of lighter security conditions to be imposed on resellers of international bandwidth to develop the nascent market, a move if accepted will ensure cheaper connectivity even at the retail level.

    Department of Telecom has already approved the TRAI proposals on allowing resale on IPLC (International Private Leased Circuit) and the regulator is currently in the process of working on the guidelines for the resellers, which will have to be approved by DoT.

    IPLC offers global connectivity through submarine cable and is a critical input for provision of Broadband and Internet services, International Long Distance Voice Telephony and for a number of key industries like IT and ITeS BPO units, banks and other financial services companies.

    As far as installation of the monitoring unit is concerned, resellers should be spared of this requirement as it will be an unnecessary, avoidable duplication of infrastructure, as ILDOs have already installed such equipment, a TRAI official said.

  3. TRAI issues consultation paper on Access to Essential Facilities at Cable Landing Stations. This is an excellent paper to understand what are the various components of a cable landing stations and how they constitute a bottleneck facility.