Regulators

Broadband target by government needs to be evaluated, says Khullar

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MUMBAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Rahul Khullar said the target set by the government for providing broadband network for all was unrealistic and called for evaluating it. He said it would be simpler to first connect the metros and then look at connecting cities and talukas in a gradual manner.



 ?Right now we are sort of deluding ourselves by saying we will achieve 100 per cent and all of you know exactly what has been achieved,? said Khullar. "This can't be an infrastructure project. Focus on just building the infrastructure is wrong. The entire ecosystem - from applications to services -- needs to be developed. The approach should be more practical and realistic," Khullar added.



 The government plans to link 2.5 lakh village panchayats across the country by December 2016 through the national optical fibre network (NOFN) programme, while promoting initiatives like e-governance, e-education and e-health. The project also aims to ensure that all villages in India have high speed internet.



 In an interview with the Economic Times in August this year, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to ensure a smartphone in the hands of every citizen by 2019. Currently, nearly 74 per cent of the population has mobile phones, most of which though are in the hands of urban Indians.

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