Government is very much aware that broadband connectivity is very essential for the development of the country as knowledge based society. Some of the major steps taken and proposed to be taken by the Government to proliferate broadband in the country are given below:
Broadband policy has been announced by the Government during 2004 for accelerated growth of Broadband applications, contributing growth of GDP and enhancement in quality of life through societal applications including tele-education, tele-medicine, e-governance, entertainment as well as employment generation.
In order to bring provisioning of broadband connectivity to rural areas under the purview of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), the Indian Telegraph Rules have been amended, stream IV has been added under the title “Provision of broadband connectivity to villages in a phased manner”. The USOF is working on a scheme for providing financial assistance by way of subsidy for the broadband active infrastructure such as BTS (Base Transceiver Station) and by utilizing the existing passive infrastructure available with the Telecom service providers.
State owned Public Sector Unit, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has identified around 25,576 rural exchanges and has placed order of 1.6 million ports for deployment of broadband services and rural areas.
The Government has approved a Common Services Centres (CSCs) Scheme for providing support for establishing 100,000 Common Services Centers in 600,000 villages of India. The Scheme, as approved by the Government of India, envisions CSCs as the front-end delivery points for Government, private and social sector services to rural citizens of India , in an integrated manner. The objective is to develop a platform that can enable Government, private and social sector organizations to align their social and commercial goals for the benefit of the rural population in the remotest corners of the country through a combination of IT-based as well as non-IT-based services.
It is proposed to setup a National Knowledge Network for providing broadband connectivity to knowledge Institutions in the country.
Department of Information Technology (DIT) has been promoting research and development in the area of Convergence, Communication and Broadband Technology as one of its major activities. Under this programme during the last three years, eight projects covering the area of Broadband Technologies have been funded.
Various exemptions in duties and taxes have been proposed in the Budget 2008-09 for Electronics/ IT Industry.
There were 3,019,521 broadband subscribers as on 31st December 2007.
Details of State-wise Broadband Subscribers as on 31st December 2007.
State-Telecom Circle Broadband Subscribers
1 Andaman & Nicobar 964
2 Andhra Pradesh 234099
3 Assam 12475
4 Bihar (including Jharkhand) 37278
5 Delhi* 409057
6 Gujarat 188628
7 Haryana 40218
8 Himachal Pradesh 6693
9 Jammu & Kashmir 9597
10 Karnataka 331937
11 Kerala 140306
12 Maharashtra (including Goa) 654308
13 Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh) 80738
14 North East** 4856
15 Orissa 20973
16 Punjab 106892
17 Rajasthan 57934
18 Tamilnadu 406654
19 Uttar Pradesh (including Uttaranchal) 110641
20 West Bengal 165273
* includes Noida, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Faridabad
** includes Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland & Tripura