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Broadband: Futuristic policy to deal with communication & entertainment challenges

NEW DELHI: The communications ministry has initiated a move to relook at the current telecom policy as data is going to drive the industry rather than voice in view of the exponential increase in broadband usage and smartphones which were vehicle of both communication and entertainment.

The minister Manoj Sinha said over the weekend that this will be done through public consultation, as the need of the hour is to ramp up for the Digital era.

Sinha said his ministry was dealing with an extremely dynamic industry and progressive market which is evolving at an extremely rapid rate.

Speaking at the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of IPTV Society here, Sinha said whether it is broadband spectrum, Internet adoption/availability, data protection, or cyber security, what was applicable five years back is no more relevant in today’s context, and new policies will need to be futuristic.

They will also need to be capable of dealing with India’s challenges and figuring out ways to deal with those challenges, he added.

The minister said while the buzz today is 4G, the government is already gearing for introduction of 5G. and so “we need to think of and prepare for an ecosystem where Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are mainstream, and connectivity is seamless, designed to improve the quality of e-governance and education, as well as to enable financial inclusion, smart cities, and an intelligent transportation system amongst other things”.

Quoting experts, Sinha said India along with North America, will lead the way in numbers of 5G subscriptions by 2022, and that 5G will speed up the digital transformation in a number of industries, enabling new use cases in areas such as IoT, automation, transport and big data.

He said broadband is of vital importance to India, as indeed to all customers globally, to ensure digital connectivity as this is the stepping stone to higher productivity as is proven in many developed economies. “It enhances commerce, improves banking facilities, improves administrative facilities and empowers the public as a whole. Broadband development is the cornerstone of Digital India and every Indian and remotest location will be empowered through the Digital India initiative.”

He lauded the Broadband India Forum for bringing out credible research documents from time to time in the form of white-papers and reports, independently or in combination with reputed research agencies on relevant issues which are of value to all stakeholders and for the future of broadband in India.

The minister released a paper by Broadband India Forum and ICRIER which he described is of economic significance for the digital economy concerning ICT Applications.

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