Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users

QOIS

OVERVIEW

In the era being described as “Digital India”, it is important to increase the internet penetration but it is also important to improve the quality of internet services to be able to realize the goal of “Digital India”. Having taken the first step of getting connected, quality of services cannot be ignored and is the necessary second step that needs to be taken.

VOICE initiated a study on ‘Assessment of Impact of Quality of Internet Services on Internet Users’, in September 2016, supported by Ford Foundation, which was based on a sample of 52,000 across 19 states of India. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of quality of internet services delivered to its consumers. It found several shortcomings/impediments which require attention for further enhancing quality of internet.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Assessment Of Impact of Quality of  Internet Service is a national study under taken by Consumer VOICE to assess the:

  • Current status of Quality of Internet Service in India
  • Patterns of current usage of Internet
  • Interpret the effect of Quality on Usage of Internet
  • Impact of Internet usage on various aspects of life

FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

The report subsumes 3 volumes:

  • Volume 1: Concept Scope and Dimensions  Read More
  • Volume 2: Assessment of Quality of Internet Service    Read More
  • Volume 3: Impact of Quality of Internet Service on Various Aspects of Life  Read More

NEEDQOIS CAMPAIGN

‘NeedQoIS’ is an initiative taken by VOICE in the interest of internet users (consumers) to educate and enlighten them about Quality of Internet Service (QoIS) and engaging consumers in the fight for better internet service nationwide to make it a truly Digital India. (For more details, please visit https://www.facebook.com/NeedQoIS/)

STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

The study, besides seeking perceptions on various parameters of quality of internet, sought perceptions on the impact of internet on various aspects of life, which include daily lives, development of rural areas, education and research, business and jobs, health and medical services, political and civic participation, shopping, travelling and commuting, women empowerment and empowerment of people with special needs, and e-governance. It was found that each of these aspects is significantly impacted by internet.

The measurement of wireless internet speeds in this study was also undertaken. The average 3G speeds were only 1.5 mbps while average 4G speeds were only 4.10 mbps. These are among the lowest in the world. By definition, 4G speeds are 40 to 150 mbps and Indian telecom companies, claiming use of 4G technology are delivering 3G speeds to their customers.

Based on the study, following recommendations were made to TRAI –

  • For better quality of speed a Mandatory disclosure of min avg download speed be made, which must be met at least 95% of the times.
  • ISPs to include a speed measurement tool in their apps and maintain a record of average speed during the day, week and month.
  • ISPs to disclose minimum and maximum speeds on daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Compensate consumers for failing to adhere to average download speeds and down time. TRAI should create a mechanism for compensation for quantifiable losses below the benchmark.
  • Declare minimum speeds at the time of sale of plans.
  • TRAI’s MySpeed App should be made more robust and user-friendly. It should be able to provide speed comparisons for each BTS and also show comparisons of ISPs at given BTS.
  • Each ISP app must have a complaint feature with follow up of outcome of complaints.
  • TRAI should find a way so that consumer using internet can come to know the reduction in speed or loss of signal at a particular point of time. At present the phones show E or 3G or 4G signal when there is in fact no signal. When signal is lost there should be a way to inform the consumer about loss of speed or signal by an adequate label mechanism.
  • TRAI should be able to provide speed comparisons for each BTS and also show comparisons of ISPs at given BTS.

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CAMPAIGN UPDATES

WORKSHOP HELD IN BANGALORE:

NEED FOR BETTER QUALITY OF INTERNET SERVICES TO MAKE INDIA TRULY DIGITAL”

Consumer VOICE celebrated World Consumer Rights Day (#BetterDigitalWorld) at Bangalore by organizing a workshop in collaboration with the The Chair on Consumer Law and Practice, National Law School of India University. Prof. (Dr.) R. Venkata Rao, Vice Chancellor, NLSIU was the Chief Guest. Prof Sriram Khanna, Consumer VOICE and Prof.(Dr.) Ashok R. Patil, NLSIU were the expert speakers who discussed and explained the findings of this national study.  Read More 

CONSUMER VOICE CONVERSATION SERIES

DIGITAL INDIA IN LIGHT OF SUB-STANDARD INTERNET SERVICES

Consumer VOICE Conversation Series held 18 Dec’17 aimed at enlightening consumers about the quality of internet services and also to awaken the concerned authorities to take the appropriate action to improve the quality of internet service in India under the initiative – NeedQoIS. The event also had officials from TRAI (Telecom regulatory Authority India) to present their point of view and answer the questions and issues raised by the audience. 

INDIA: HIGHEST GDP GROWTH RATE AND LOWEST INTERNET SPEEDS

Indian consumers are consistently battling with low internet speeds while dreaming of a new and better ‘Digital India’. It is disappointing to see that a country making its mark on the world map for its excellent GDP growth is worse than Pakistan and Algeria when it come to internet speeds (as found in a study by OpenSignal). Consumer VOICE conducted a study titled “Assessment of Impact of Quality of Service on Internet Users” in the last quarter of 2017 and found that the average 4G speeds delivered to consumers is a mere 4.10 mbps. The speed tests were conducted on TRAI MySpeed app on which TRAI has recently released a white paper elaborating on the methodology behind working of the app. The paper only focuses upon the technicalities of the app but does not focus on getting faster internet speeds. Sign the petition –  http://chn.ge/2GT3Chi

ITS RAINING DATA

As soon as Reliance JIO offered its free services to consumers, the level of competition reached its peak among the Internet Service Providers. The data which was available per month at the price of Rs. 30 to 50 per GB in Indian telecom markets has come down to Rs 5 per GB in the year 2017, as data consumption has increased. It has become cheaper to watch movies and web series on Internet and Wi-Fii. However, it has been observed that after these developments, post-paid subscribers are paying more as compared to the pre-paid subscribers. Being in the field of consumer education and empowerment for over three decades now, Consumer VOICE requests TRAI to take prompt action on the same so that there is no discrimination between the pre-paid and post-paid consumers and they are benefitted from the rising competition between ISPs.  Sign the petition –  http://chn.ge/2GT3Chi

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

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