FTTH to facilitate economic growth

CIOL Bureau
New Update

NEW DELHI, INDIA: With fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) as government's next major thrust area within the ICT domain, the industry sees it as a major driver for economic growth and national development. As the 6th annual FTTH Council Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition 2011 kicked off in New Delhi on Wednesday, the council and industry said that there is a need to accelerate the deployment of fiber optic.


Speaking on the occasion, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, said that the process to connect the country has already begun. Deshmukh said that the government is committed to facilitate ICT in rural areas.

Radius Infratel, Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and C-Dot among others are participating in the exhibition. Shinichiro Oto, conference chair, FTTH Council Asia Pacific, said that fiber-to-the-home represents all the verticals of Indian industries and its adoption has become imperative.

Shankar Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of IT said that with the help of ICT everybody can be part of the governance process. "Today we are growing at the rate of 8.5 per cent and by 2015 it's expected that we would be one of the largest growing economies in the world," he said.


'Technology could empower poor'

Agarwal said that one-third of the people in the country are below the poverty line, and technology could empower them so that the country would grow by 11 per cent. "Quality content should be delivered to villages with rural kiosks that can be done only through broadband," he said.

FTTH Council Asia Pacific is optimistic about the fiber optic and believes that it could help consumers to choose operator of choice and would be cost effective. Agarwal said that the government has already drawn a big plan to deliver fibre to each home in 2 to 3 years' time.


"Once, the fibre is laid, we will not only empower the people but also achieve inclusive and sustainable growth of 11 per cent," he added. Ironically, there has been only one per cent broadband penetration in the country while the top 10 cities enjoy 60 per cent of the broadband pie.

Kuldeep Goyal, former chairman and MD of BSNL, said that all the governments worldwide have made broadband strategy policies. Citing the World Bank statistics, Goyal said that 10 per cent of growth in broadband increases the GDP by 1.38 per cent.

He said that the Government of India is focusing to connect 250,000 panchayats in the country by 2013 and 20,000 broadband kiosks have already become operational in the country.


He added that fiber optic will be deployed across the country in the next few years and every service provider will be provided access to it. "Shared access will be a key to fiber and keep cost down," Goyal informed.