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Broadband to become a fundamental human right: TRAI chairman

Many things Covid2019 has taught us will become permanent

R S Sharma

MUMBAI: Broadband will become a fundamental human right and it will be difficult to imagine life without broadband connectivity, said Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (tRAI) chairman R S Sharma. He was speaking at a virtual conference organised by Broadband India Forum.

He said that it is time to make investment to boost fixed-line broadband so as to support areas such as education, work from home, etc. While it is a fact that the country has achieved a lot in mobile, we still have a long way to go in the field of fixed-line broadband. It is essential to give reliable connectivity, he said, adding that what lies ahead is a digital future. Connectivity is an area of paramount importance.

Many things like the role of technology that the Covid2019 pandemic has taught the country will become permanent, and they will be good for the country, he said, adding that in the changing context TRAI will approach all the regulations with a new perspective.

He said that what this crisis has taught us will become permanent in this country; it will be actually good for us. “I believe digital transaction is always better because it is cost-effective, environment-friendly, instantaneous, frugal, and last but not the least it is contactless."

He said that after the pandemic broke out, people depended on IT and communication technology much more than physical infrastructure such as road, rail, or air transports.

Work-from-home has become a norm and it will remain so in the immediate future. We are going to see tele-medicine, e-commerce, etc. Schools have started teaching students from home, Sharma said.

He added that we have to live in a world with minimal human contact all the while enabling economic growth and socialising. 

Department of Telecom joint secretary Hari Ranjan Rao informed that efforts are going on to implement a national optic fibre map so that investors can decide where they want to invest and build capacities.

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