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TVs to push India broadband services by 2012

Posted: 27 Nov 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IPTV  India broadband  wireless service 

TV, if used an end-user device, can increase the broadband penetration from the present 70 lakh (seven million) to 10 crore (100 million) subscribers by 2012, according to Vijay Yadav UT Starcom India managing director for South Asia at the 6th Broadband Tech India 2009. This way it could reach out to 70 crore (700 million) people including the rural areas, he added. Already one lakh people are benefiting from an enriched information and communication stream through a pioneering project using IPTV format to reach the users on the networks of BSNL, Bharti Airtel etc.

"Developments like these could bring phenomenal results," said P.J. Thomas, secretary, department of telecom, ministry of communications and IT, government of India, inaugurating the 6th Broadband Tech India 2009. He called for strategies to make such growth possible. The telecom revolution had already pushed the wireline use to the backburner connecting hundreds of millions through wireless technology. According to BSNL director for consumer mobility R. K. Aggarwal, the key issues in broadband penetration included content for all age groups and bandwidth speeds of 2- to 4Mbps.

Urging use of the 6 to 7 crore (60 to 70 million) route km of copper cables already available for the big push in broadband connectivity, Yadav explained how the technology constraint of four km limit to fibre to home could be overcome. There were also different technologies like fibre-to-the-home, combination of fibre and wireless and last quarter mile to the curb. He urged all these technologies should be used in the push to the 10 crore (100 million) subscribers by 2012 target.

The UT Starcom MD pointed out that since audio-visual is a natural mode of communication, broadband through TV would be a more acceptable medium for rural communication than through PC, The experience so far in the experiment connecting a village near Jaipur with such broadband on TV had been very encouraging, he said. Yadav suggested that universal service obligation (USO) fund should look at funding the project as it is a huge employment generating technology.

Ajay Bhattacharya, USO fund administrator, ministry of commerce and IT revealed that after the proposed spectrum auctions USO would support the extension of wireless broadband to rural areas. He foresaw a million broadband users in rural areas in the next two years. The fund is already supporting wireless connectivity in rural areas being set up by BSNL.

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