Broadband íŽíŽ Reality in India
Rajesh Chharia       09-09-25

I am taking you some year back when the condition was not like as we are finding presently.If smebody wa taking wthin India or clony can come to know about that which was costing Rs.24/- per minute and when we were talking overseas other colony understand which cost to us Rs.125/- per minute: Means very backward situation : European were talking of pager and we were rushing to near exchange tp search for lineman for getting line problem solved. Similarly when they moved to mobile we were into pager: The poor condition of our telecommunication was understood by an Airline pilot who after sometimes becomes our country's dashing & honorable prime minister late Shri Rajiv Gandhi because A pilot knows the Importance Of Perfect Communication Hence He Brought Some Major Changes In This Sector In 1985 .

We have to understand one issue majorly that Internet is not telecom but it is an Infrastructure like Road, Power etc. and through Internet we can make digital Highway.

Like Other Revolution Green For Agriculture: Industrial & Than IT Revolution: When in 1985 we were talking of Reservation of Railway Ticket through Computer, some laughed whether it is possible and now you can book any Ticket whether of Rail, Air, Cinema, or any event, you doní»t have to go to the site but you can get the same booked from your House only and that through INTERNET.

Today The Whole World Is Looking At Us: India Presently Have Got Huge Treasure To Run A Prominent Scientist Our Honorable President: Economist Our Prime Minister: & A Technical Young Dreamiest Our Honorable Communication Minister Now Who Is Carrying The Torch Of It Development & His Dream Of Broadband For All Will Come True: If we compare the development of IT sector from 2004 and today we find a lot of changes and huge development reason positive view of our Minister so the year 2007 was declared the Year Of Broadband and presently we are having around 4.5 million Broadband clients which are very less in comparison to the target fixed of 10 million by 2010 end. This is not a very major task for our developing country and that too in view of the latest recommendation of TRAI for opening of Internet Telephony unrestricted for ISP, also if all stake holders become united broadmindedly and we think of one Goal to provide Quality and cost effective service of broadband to the citizen of our country than this target is not very far. For achieving the same some major changes is require from the government side in terms of policy, Incumbent Service provider by providing facility, BSO and Access Service Providers by treating the Broadband as Main services rather than Value added Service and Internet Service Providers by using the infrastructure on revenue share and provide the service as focused Industry.

Major Hurdle for broadband penetration is cost on which we are supposed to provide this service to the customer. The Broadband cost consist 65% of the Internet Bandwidth cost and rest is the services with additional infrastructure charges. Presently due to non utilization of NIXI (National Internet Exchange of India) we are wasting lot of International Bandwidth, the main solution for effective use of NIXI is to create more exchange point in addition to present I,e, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, the new immediate required exchange is Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad and Chandigarh. Alongwith opening of new exchange we should interconnect all these exchange. By doing this we can save at least 40% of our International Bandwidth which will help us in meeting the rates of present broadband rates. Alongwith the same we have to bring down the Domestic Bandwidth charges alongwith International Bandwidth charges. To penetrate more Government should exempt the broad band connectivity from 10.3% Service Tax and this sector should be announced as Infrastructure under Telecom and should be give Income Tax rebate of 5 years so that lot of interested entrepreneur can also come into this industry, resulting fast growth of this sector the example is Mobile Sector.

Take the example of Korea, out of 14 million Houses, about 12 million houses are the Broadband connectivity and that too 8+Mbps, for them NGN (New Generation Network) is the History as per them BGN (Broadband Generation Network) is the latest, if house has Broadband connectivity, he can run triple play like Voice, Data and Multimedia like IP TV, Video on demand etc.
Rural Internet Telephony
Internet Telephony in rural/remote areas can easily be bundled with Broadband connection. One PC with broadband connection with Internet Telephony at least to a Post Office, Panchayat and/or District Head Quarter. Rural mass can be benefitted immensely by the bundle of services instead of plain Telephone. They can use it for talking to their relatives in towns/cities in much lower rates. If a person sitting in Delhi or Mumbai can talk to a person in New York or LA for less than Re. 1 a minutes why caní»t we offer such facility to our own people with in India? It will be help in bridging the digital divide. By such a revolutionary recommendation of TRAI for opening of Internet Telephony unrestricted for ISP, we hope that very soon our Hon. Minister and DOT will formulate the policy on this application to give benefit to AAM AADMI or Rural Person for using this application to talk to their kith and kin on a very cheaper rate varying from 20 paise to 50 paise per minute with in India and any part of the world in Re1/- per minute.
During the year 2005-2006 out of total Outgoing Calls originated of 2500 million minute the share of ITSP was 200 million and during the year 2006-2007 the outgoing calls originated approx 3500 million minute in the same the share of ITSP is 800 million minute means a growth of 300%. In spite of the fact that the ITSP is marketing these minutes @0.80 paise per minute out of the same they pay 12.36% Service Tax and 6% AGR while the other service providers are selling the same @ Rs.5.00 per minute.
On a same Broadband network IPTV can also be provided along with the Broadband and Internet Telephony. ISPs are in a position to provide triple play to the rural/remote area which will not only attract them to hook to the PC for useful information as well as will be a source of entertainment for them. DOT should consider ISP if not better at least at par and also allow ISP to launch this service with out any net worth of Rs.100 crores which they had done for Cable Walla while ISP are paying AGR of 6% on this service.
ISPs role in remote/rural Broadband Penetration
Local ISPs can help peoples in remote /rural areas by providing them training, guidance and maintain their computers/systems. It can help in creating new employment opportunities for the rural people by encouraging them to start their own business (cyber dhaba).
Since local/ small ISPs are closer to the user and in a position to know their social and financial conditions better than multiple service providers can provide the best possible route to entrepreneurship to rural mass with a sense of fulfillment of a larger social goal.
Infrastructure Sharing
Roll out of Broadband, IPTV, Internet Telephony and Internet in the remote and rural area is possible if UASL and/or Basic Operators share their networks / resources with ISPs on a commercial terms and condition. It is learnt that BSNL copper is reach almost 20 km of every villages. Same can be shared with ISPs in reaching to the rural mass to connect them to the world. Also allow to share Passive & Active Infrastructure amongst them like other telecom.

* Writer is President of Internet Service Providers Association of India