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.