CII calls on government for INR170 billion broadband investment

14 Sep 2009

India’s Economic Times is reporting that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on behalf of the telecoms sector, has announced plans to seek funding of approximately INR170 billion (USD3.53 billion) from the government to construct broadband infrastructure across 5,000 towns and 600,000 villages. In presenting its study ‘Broadband Roadmap for Inclusive Growth 2009-14’ the CII claimed that such investment would be needed to establish a pan-India fibre-optic network comprised of around 1.3 million kilometres of cable. According to the study, this network would act solely as backhaul infrastructure, with operators expected to deliver commercial services through wireless technologies including 3G and WiMAX. According to proposals by the CII, the creation of 214 million broadband connections is targeted by 2014, with two phases of network deployment; ‘The first phase, involving 50% investment, will focus on achieving geographical coverage across the country. The second phase would focus on increasing speeds such that at least 50% of the connections have a 2Mbps speed,’ said T S Mohan Krishnan, senior vice president of IMRB International, one of those companies involved in the study. By contrast, the government’s broadband policy issued in 2004 called for a total of 20 million broadband connections by 2010; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of 2008 it had achieved just over a quarter of this target number, with a total of 5.52 million Indian broadband subscribers at that date.

India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT)