MySpeed by TRAI shows your internet speedPOST

Work, study and entertainment – everything is happening on the internet. You have signed up for a broadband plan but you do not get the promised bandwidth. Even the connection is not consistent. Poor connectivity or slow speed is a big hindrance. Have you learnt to live with slow internet speed in spite of buying a high speed plan? No need to feel helpless and frustrated anymore.

Consumers today do not know the actual speed that the Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives. To address this issue, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) launched an app – MySpeed. This app helps users measure data speed on 3G/4G networks. TRAI has also stated 512 kbps as the minimum speed that has to be delivered by broadband service providers.

The app sends users’ personal network speed information to TRAI’s analytics portal. In addition, it sends details of the coverage area, network device and exact location of the test to TRAI’s servers. No personal information is shared.

How it works

Download the app from Google Play Store or itunes. The App is simple, easy to understand and free. Just tap on the ‘Begin Test’ button and you will get current speed of your internet in a few seconds. There is also a history page where all your test records are stored. You can see how your Internet speed has been over a period of time along with your location on the map. The map will tell you where the data speed was poor. There is also a “send to TRAI” button that gives the user their final result with an option to send it to TRAI.

What makes Moctpg12ySpeed relevant despite the availability of other similar apps is that it allows users to immediately report poor services to the regulator, instead of wasting time on calls to operators which often do not resolve the issue. It will curb the exploitation of consumers by service providers. The app is free of advt blocks and works accurately.

Broadband labelling

Misleading claims by ISPs are rampant. More than 30% of complaints CERC receives every month relate to internet connectivity. “Consumers often complain about lower broadband speeds than what was advertised at the time of sale. Further, they are not informed of the actual speed of their connection and bandwidth when signing up for the service,” says Pritee Shah, chief general manager, CERC.

Use of terms such as ‘up to’ for data speeds and ‘unlimited’ for data limit is quite common. Consumer organisations across the country, including Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad have called for standardized information labelling for broadband.

The project, conceptualized by CUTS International, proposes to make it mandatory for ISPs to display labels stating average speed at peak and non-peak hours, data usage available, service contract and fixed and variable costs involved.

Having this label would mean ISPs are bound by a contract and are answerable to consumers. Clear information provided on the label would help them compare various plans and take better decisions based on their needs and budgets. It will also help consumers in grievance redressal.

The broadband labelling project aims to create well-informed and responsible stakeholders within the country. Consumers would have adequate information and awareness about their rights while signing up for a particular broadband plan. Globally, such labels are in use in US, UK and Singapore.

TRAI consultation paper

TRAI has released a public consultation paper inviting comments and suggestions from all stakeholders on data speeds of wireless broadband services in India. The paper also explores whether such services should have a standard label.

Sources: www.apps.mgov.gov.in, http://www.digit.in, www.tutorialspoint.com, CUTS research paper

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