Govt actively working on national broadband plan

NEW DELHI: There are 10.34 million broadband subscribers in the country as on 30 September this year, Parliament was told today.

The Government is actively working on formulation of a ‘National Broadband Plan’ and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is holding consultations with stakeholders on the subject.

The National Broadband Plan would address broadband connectivity to all the Villages, including through optical fibre cable, as required. However, no final decision has been taken in the matter so far. 
In an effort to increase the penetration of broadband connection in the country, 3G and BWA services in the private sector have been allocated spectrum through auction. This will facilitate proliferation of broadband through mobile handset and wireless technology, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Sachin Pilot told Parliament today.

The government is permitting sharing of infrastructure to the service providers and has permitted setting up of 100,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) by the Department of Information Technology this year to provide access of broadband.

The Indian Telegraph Rules have been amended, and stream IV has been added under the title “Provision of broadband connectivity to villages in a phased manner” to bring provisioning of broadband connectivity to the rural areas under the purview of the USOF.  
USOF schemes are in place for supporting shared infrastructure for mobile services in rural and remote areas. These towers will also be used to provide broadband connectivity in the newly covered Block/Taluka headquarters.

USOF, through BSNL, has started ‘Rural Wireline Broadband Scheme’ to provide wire-line broadband connectivity to rural and remote areas by leveraging the existing rural exchanges infrastructure and copper wire-line network.

Under this scheme, BSNL will provide 8, 88,832 wire-line Broadband connections to individual users and government Institutions over a period of 5 years by 2014. The estimated subsidy outflow is Rs 15 billion in five years.

As of October 2010, a total of 225,266 broadband connections had been provided and 430 kiosks set up in rural and remote areas.

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