Technology

Govt targets 20 million broadband connections by 2010















NEW DELHI: The government hopes that in 2007, which has been christened as the ‘Year of Broadband’, a target of nine million connections will be reached by giving broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats, Higher Secondary Schools and Public Health Centres progressively by the next year.


There are plans envisaging provision of 20 million connections by the year 2010, according to Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran who said broadband service will provide the platform for various e-governance projects. Service providers will provide various value added services to suit the requirements of the consumers on commercial basis.


It was envisaged that the Department of Information Technology and Universal Service Obligation Fund will provide the necessary visibility gap funding for speedy rural Broadband Access rollout, Mr Maran said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

 

GoM to study vacation plan for spectrum
The Government has appointed a committee consisting Group of Ministers to recommend the vacation plan for spectrum from Government and semi-Government agencies such as defence, space and paramilitary, etc. The Minister said the policy on spectrum for 3G services would take into account the recommendations of GoM, which are awaited.


BSNL upgrading broadband connectivity
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Dr. Shakeel Ahmad informed the Rajya Sabha that with effect from January one this year, all broadband customers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), except those with unlimited plan, have been upgraded from the minimum speed of 256 Kbps to 2 Mbps at existing tariff, subject to technical feasibility. The present broadband customer base of BSNL across the country is 8.77 lakhs, he added.


The BSNL has ambitious plans to proliferate broadband in both urban and rural areas across the country in a progressive manner for which it has decided to invest about Rs. 2000 crore, he added.

 

100,000 common service centres soon
Dr Ahmed told the Lok Sabha that the government had recently approved a scheme for providing support for establishing 100,000 broadband, Internet-enabled, Common Service Centres in rural areas of the country. These centres would be opened in the ratio of one CSC for every six census villages in a State, and provide a mix of government and private services in rural areas. The scheme is to be implemented in a public private partnership.


The CSC is a private entity loosely analogous to a franchiser which would operate, manage and build the VLE network and business.


Major growth in IT exports
In another reply, the MoS said according to NASSCOM, the Indian IT-ITES sector (including the domestic and export segments) is expected to exceed US$ 47.8 billion in annual revenue in Financial Year 2007, an increase of nearly 28 per cent in the current fiscal year.


Dr Ahmed stated that according to the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC), export of electronics hardware has registered a growth of 41.18 per cent in rupee terms (38.89 per cent in US$ terms) during the period April 2006 to December 2006 over the corresponding period in the previous financial year. The target set for total export of electronics hardware is Rs. 11500 crore (US$ 2556 million) for the current financial year. The target set for export of electronic hardware the current financial year was achieved by 83.48 per cent as on December 2006


Goverment working towards wireless access
He said the Government is in the process of taking necessary action to provide support for provision of infrastructure for mobile services including Wireless Access Services like Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) using Fixed/Mobile terminals in rural and remote areas of the country. The infrastructure shall be created in those specified areas where no fixed wireless or mobile coverage exists.


Dr. Ahmad further stated that a total of 7,871 towers would be set up in rural and remote areas of the country in 500 districts spread over 27 states. The details of the district/village-wise location of these towers are available on DoT website www.dot.gov.in. For this, he said, tenders have been invited from the existing Basic Service Operators (BSO), Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS) providers, Unified Access Services Licences (UASL) and Shortlisted Infrastructure Providers Category-I (IP-I) comprising of both private and public sector operators. Bids have been received to set up these towers.


Unique identification for monitoring IT programmes
He told the Rajya Sabha that the Planning Commission had requested the Department of Information Technology to coordinate an initiative to provide a Unique Identification which could be used for monitoring various schemes and programmes. The project is at an initial stage and currently a study is being conducted to recommend the processes in this regard. Simultaneously work has also been initiated for making ready the data base which would be needed for the generation of the Unique Identification.

 

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