India eyes Internet revolution to reach rural areas

Dec 09, 2010
A farmer to threshes wheat in the remote village of Purushwadi, some 140 miles (220kms) west of Mumbai, India, in March 2009. India said Thursday it aims to sharply expand its national broadband network as it seeks a "revolution" to bring high-speed Internet to the country's rural heartland.

India said Thursday it aims to sharply expand its national broadband network as it seeks a "revolution" to bring high-speed Internet to the country's rural heartland.

India is the world's fastest-growing cellular market with some 700 million people having mobile phone services but has trailed badly.

At present, the number of stands at only 10.3 million.

"We need to provide broadband connections to rural India on a scale similar to the revolution we had in mobile connectivity," said Gurudas Kamat, minister of state for communications.

"Broadband for all should be our mantra," Kamat said at the opening of a conference in New Delhi.

The left-leaning Congress government sees access to broadband as a way to bolster education, health care, banking and other services and help lift hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty.

People browse the net at a cyber cafe in Calcutta. India said Thursday it aims to sharply expand its national broadband network as it seeks a "revolution" to bring high-speed Internet to the country's rural heartland.

Kamat's statements came after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India proposed an ambitious plan this week for India to seek to have 75 million broadband connections by 2012 and 160 million by 2014.

The recommendations for the 600-billion-rupee (13-billion-dollar) investment in broadband services came in the wake of the Congress government's failure to meet its target of 20 million broadband connections by 2010.

Most of India's broadband connections are through landlines but companies are rolling out wireless broadband networks after winning third-generation and wireless in auctions earlier this year.

The regulatory authority has proposed that all villages with populations of at least 500 people be connected to broadband by 2013.

"The network will provide easy access to high speed data and information to citizens," it said.

Explore further: Mobile provider TracFone to pay $40M in federal settlement

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN: new group helps promote broadband

May 10, 2010

(AP) -- The International Telecommunication Union has set up a group headed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Rwandan President Paul Kagame to help more countries get access to broadband connections.

Recommended for you

Google wireless service could disrupt carriers

Jan 27, 2015

Internet users from San Jose to Kansas City have been clamoring for Google to lay down its long-awaited fiber-optic network to compete with Comcast and AT&T in speeding up Web and television access. Now the Silicon Valley ...

Google super-fast US Internet service spreads

Jan 27, 2015

Google's super-fast Internet service—up to 100 times quicker than basic broadband—is heading for four more US metropolitan areas as the technology titan ramps up pressure on cable service giants.

Transmitting wireless data on higher frequencies

Jan 27, 2015

Everything we do that requires a wireless connection uses the radio spectrum. We're able to harness radio waves to listen to music in the car or stream Netflix from the 4G network on our smartphones. Each ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.