Note: Since Balakrishnan's talk, the TRAI released its recommendations for a national broadband plan. Download the PDF here. In an alternative universe, India has 20 million broadband connections, and Rediff CEO Ajit Balakrishnan believes that at that level, the revenues of Rediff, would be 20 times current levels. Speaking at the IAMAI Digital Summit, Balakrishnan said that the growth in broadband would have dramatic impact on business, with the Internet in India becoming a mass medium, and hence attracting substantially more advertising. But what's holding it back? Many things, according to Balakrishnan: What's holding back broadband - Policy Maker Mindset: Policy makers think that "broadband is what my son uses to download music." It's an ideological barrier, and some policy makers feel that education and healthcare are higher priorities. (ED: that explains why those pitching 3G and 4G to policy makers kept harping on Education and Healthcare as benefiting from the growth). Balakrishnan gave the example of the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, which is delivering eyecare at 2 cents, using mobile technology. - Challenge of getting multiple stakeholders to work together: Mobile phone companies, device makers, ISPs, cybercafes: they all need to speak the same language. I'm spending a third of my time on this, so that multiple stakeholders say the same thing. - Ideological baggage: "Some people in the industry have an ideological baggage that the government should stay out of things. It shouldn't." Balakrishnan went on to explain how the government, though funding computer colleges, forcing banks and…
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