Develop a comprehensive ICT policy:CII

By : |September 11, 2009 0

CHENNAI, INDIA: ‘Develop a comprehensive ICT policy encompassing this vision through programmes of various central and state government departments’ was the key message to government by CII’s “Report On India 2009-2014: Broad Roadmap for Inclusive Growth” released at Connect 2009, India’s premier ICT event, being organized with the theme of “Resurgence of the Indian ICT Sector” by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in association with Government of Tamil Nadu.

Releasing the Report on Broadband Roadmap for Inclusive Growth: India 2009-2014, Manoj Kholi, chairman, CII National Committee on Telecom and Broadband, and CEO & joint managing director, Bharti Airtel Limited, said that in the last 10-15 years, India’s telecom sector has created half a billion customers and has taken its telecom connectivity to 4.5 lakh Indian villages, becoming the second largest growing telecom market in the world, second only to China.

He said that the telecom sector can bring back India’s GDP growth from the current 6 per cent to 9-10 per cent. He added that broadband is key to economic growth and its penetration has strong correlation with GDP growth. In India, the broadband penetration is just 0.57 per cent. Though there are over 500 million telecom users, there are only 7 million broadband customers – currently 1 per cent of the households and 18 per cent of businesses have access to broadband.

For the government to achieve the 2014 vision of reaching broadband to 214 million users by 2014, it needs a 30 fold growth. Since broadband has the potential to create about 20 million jobs, the government should be committed to e-governance projects and move from providing voice-led to data-led services.

The report asked the stake holder that USO body should be given the responsibility of laying down speed Fiber to the Kerb (FTTK) infrastructure to connect all villages and small towns and it’s estimated cost is at around Rs 180 billion to Rs 360 billion depending on whether aerial or under ground.

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