India’s telecommunications minister Dayanidhi Maran has opposed the recommendations of both the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issue of local loop unbundling (LLU). In the country’s latest draft telecoms policy, the DoT and TRAI recommend enforcing LLU to minimise duplication of resources, accelerate rollout of broadband services and increase teledensity in rural areas, but Maran has categorically ruled out the possibility of the government permitting the sharing of infrastructure belonging to state-run telcos BSNL and MTNL. Defending the performance of BSNL and MTNL in the broadband sector, Maran said the incumbents had added a total of 350,000 new users since January 2005.
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