Friday, January 07, 2011

India - Regulator is planning for a massive expansion of Internet availability

[tech2] TRAI will help the country in taking a step towards internet connectivity with a plan that connects about 63 large cities and about 4315 small cities/towns. They will be setting up two agencies, the National Optical Fiber Authority (NOFA) and the State Optical Fiber Authority (SOFA) at the central and state levels respectively. These agencies will help in rolling the plan out on a whole.

This new plan should see some improvement in internet speeds with 10 Mbps for large cities, 4 Mbps for 352 other cities and 2 Mbps for other towns and villages by the year 2014. Once the plan gets fully operational, it should generate an approximate of $5.8 billion worth of annual revenues for the country.

While the industry wants the current fiber infrastructure to be leveraged rather than coming up with a new one, TRAI has an opposite view. While they plan to create a new network they will still go ahead with re-enforcing the current one. A couple of reasons for doing so was that the new network will cater to long term bandwidth requirements efficiently and will not cause any inter-operational problems.

TRAI has also suggested import duties for PC and other devices (in parts or full) be lowered, which might help in reducing the cost of devices by 20-25%.

TRAI Brings in a Big Budget Plan for National Broadband

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