Target 10 m broadband subscribers by 2010: CII

NEW DELHI: India should target a minimum of 10 million subscribers by 2010 and 35 million subscribers by 2020 in urban India across homes, enterprises and public kiosks, which is the vision according to a study on Broadband Economy: Vision 2010, according to Sujit Kumar, chairman of CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) National Broadband Economy Committee today.

The report states that connectivity and services, if designed appropriately, innovatively and if implemented effectively, can be a key driver for several socio-economic gains including economic growth and employment generation, Arvind Mahajan, partner, IBM Business Consulting Services, said.

An important aspect of the CII report is that most of the initiatives could be industry driven and do not require significant investment by government. Further existing investments by incumbent operators could be leveraged to build a world- class network. The Broadband Economy could attract investments of over $ 2,600 million by 2006 and $ 5,350 by 2010.

To facilitate this investment and roll out of the broadband services, the study also suggests key recommendations and action points for the government, industry and the regulator. The study also has also outlined a roadmap to be adopted and implemented in fiscal 2004-05 and 2005-06.

According to the study, broadband connectivity and services will positively impact education, health, governance and citizen empowerment required to achieve the economic goals for all citizens including the rural population that cannot be covered effectively using traditional brick and mortar solutions.

The study has been conducted by IBM Business Consulting Services in association with CII and with support of departments IT and telecommunications.

In quantitative terms, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) vision targets to achieve broadband coverage for at least 50 percent of the rural population by 2010 and 100 percent by 2020 through rural broadband kiosks.

For development of rural market in India and to achieve 50 percent population coverage by 2010 and 100 percent of the population coverage, the report has targeted 100,000 kiosks by 2010 and 620,000 kiosks by 2020.

The report says at the core of any rural broadband / connectivity model in India is the kiosk as an aggregator of demand and a central infrastructure for the entire village. This is the only proven system by which the rural population will be able to take advantage of broadband or any form of connectivity services on a cost-effective and sustainable basis. With reference to the Planning Commission's Vision 2020 document, the CII report visualises ubiquitous Broadband as playing a strategic role.

The CII National Broadband Economy Committee has adopted a dynamic and flexible definition of broadband that is technology neutral and focussed towards delivery of services to the end user, rather than on speed.

The study identifies potential key drivers of broadband and recommends making appropriate and locally relevant e-education, e-health, e-governance, and entertainment and e-commerce services available through broadband connectivity to all cities, towns and villages in India. Not only would the quality of these services in the rural areas improve but also, it would assist in containing migration to urban areas and also provide job opportunities in the rural areas.

For long-term development of the urban access industry, the report has recommended that India look at creating communication infrastructure that is able to leapfrog to newer technologies. From a long-term perspective, therefore, India needs to promote multiple technologies and inter-modal competition from DSL, HFC, fibre, wireless and satellite technologies, as and when they become relevant and cost effective.


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