Govt owned optic fibre broadband network soon: Milind Deora

NEW DELHI: The Government has decided to own and operate a countrywide broadband network with an optical fibre base through which different operators could provide a range of services, Minister of State for Communications and Information and Technology Milind Deora said.

Inaugurating the 8th Broadband Tech India Conference organised by Bharat Exhibitions, the Minister said: "Keeping future users of this network in mind, this will to be a non-discriminatory access to all types of information and services."

"This network would be the way governance will be delivered to the whole nation" reaching out to the last village, he added. The Minister recalled how several countries were supporting optical fibre and wireless broadband networks to reach out to everyone. The Minister termed this project as "unprecedented" in its reach and its vision.
The money for setting up this network would come from the Universal Service Fund to which all telecom operators are contributing a part of their revenues. This would be a high speed network in which Government would partner with telecom industry to plan an entire eco system "that will really transform the country".

The Minister also released a book on NGN (New Generation Networks) written by telecom professional SN Gupta. The book gives all details about the new generation of telecom networks based on IP technology that can accommodate delivery of different services even when the technology has changed. Many operators are changing to this concept in their network.

BSNL which will implement this plan expects approximately 50 to 60 per cent of government services in the country to be conducted through broadband and mobile services, according to its chairman and managing director RK Upadhyay.
The National Broadband Policy projects broadband on demand by 2015 and get 600 million people using the service by 2020. Roll out of 3G telecom services would lead to additional revenue of about Rs 90 billion to over 2010-2015 for the IT and BPO industry, he added.
Giving a broad view of what fixed line and wireless broadband (3G) could do, Upadhyay told the conference that revenue from 3G related data services for other VAS value chain players would reach Rs 36 billion in 2015. Equipment manufacturers would have a market of Rs 165 billion by 2015 growing at a huge CAGR of 72 per cent. However content development and lower prices of 3G enabled handsets would be crucial in achieving these expectations.

"Broadband revolution has not only helped in creating a niche for India globally but is now also going to transform the hinterland of the country," Upadhyay contented. "As a better networked and informed society sooner than later India could become "an invincible leader and eventually a super IT power of the world".

For broadband revolution to happen, government intervention and support is critical, said industry analyst and Analysys Mason India MD Kunal Bajaj. Such support would push the reach to 50 to 60 per cent of urban users and only then would it be viable for the economy of use to kick in. "After that you could move into rural areas."
In broadband roll out Bajaj suggested USO fund to help fill the viability gap for the industry. End user subsidy and financial incentive for broadening access were needed to realise the full potential of national broadband revolution.

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