of fixed line and Broadband Connection in Metros|
of fixed lines||No.
of Broadband connections||Broadband
as a Percentage of fixed line connections|
70 per cent of Indian population lives in rural areas, broadband facility is limited
to metro and major cities. Availability of broadband is critical for development
of rural areas. Out of total 9 million broadband subscribers at the end of April
2010, just 5 per cent are in rural areas. The low broadband penetration in rural
areas is attributed to non availability of transmission media connectivity upto
The situation demands an urgent focus on creation of robust
national infrastructure scalable to cater to future requirements not only in urban
areas but also upto villages. For making all villages broadband enabled, an option
being explored is taking optical fibre to 375,552 villages having population of
500 or more.
a network would require laying of about 12 billion kilometres of optical fibre
at a cost of about Rs 323 billion.
of such project could be considered from Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) for non-skilled work and from Universal Services Obligation
Fund (USOF) for material and equipment cost. This optical fibre network would
integrate with backbones of various service providers and users would be able
to get broadband with a variety of wired and wireless solutions.
of the questions raised are: What should be done to increase broadband demand
and improve the perceived utility of broadband among the masses; what measures
should be taken to enhance the availability of useful applications for broadband;
How can broadband be made more consumer friendly especially to those having limited
knowledge of English and computer; is the existing telecom infrastructure is inadequate
to support broadband demand; the network topology perceived to support high speed
broadband using evolving wireless technologies; is there a prominent role for
fibre based technologies in access network in providing high speed broadband in
next five years; and changes needed in existing licensing and regulatory framework
to encourage cable TV operators to upgrade their networks to provide broadband.
has asked stakeholders to send their comments on the consultation paper by 7 July.