India aims for Internet revolution to reach rural heartland
Friday 10 December 2010
India said Thursday it aims to sharply expand its national broadband network as it seeks a "revolution" to bring high-speed Internet to the country's rural heartland.
India is the world's fastest-growing cellular market with some 700 million people having mobile phone services but Internet penetration has trailed badly.
At present, the number of broadband connections stands at only 10.3 million.
"We need to provide broadband connections to rural India on a scale similar to the revolution we had in mobile connectivity," said Gurudas Kamat, minister of state for communications.
"Broadband for all should be our mantra," Kamat said at the opening of a telecommunications conference in New Delhi.
The left-leaning Congress government sees access to broadband as a way to bolster education, health care, banking and other services and help lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty.
Kamat's statements came after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India proposed an ambitious plan this week for India to seek to have 75 million broadband connections by 2012 and 160 million by 2014.
The recommendations for the 600-billion-rupee (13-billion-dollar) investment in broadband services came in the wake of the Congress government's failure to meet its target of 20 million broadband connections by 2010.
Most of India's broadband connections are through landlines but companies are rolling out wireless broadband networks after winning third-generation and wireless broadband spectrum in auctions earlier this year.
The regulatory authority has proposed that all villages with populations of at least 500 people be connected to broadband by 2013.
"The network will provide easy access to high speed data and information to citizens," it said.
Life & Style blogs
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
- 1 Enrique Iglesias injured trying to catch a drone mid concert
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
- 3 Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
- 4 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 5 UK weather: Temperatures set to soar making parts of Britain hotter than parts of the Mediterranean
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking for a Lea...
£45000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Engineer is requi...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a small IT consultancy...