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Draft New Telecom Policy 2011: Broadband Related Provisions & Issues Not Addressed

India's Department of Telecommunication yesterday released its long awaited draft of the New Telecom Policy (Download, pdf), which mostly suggests guidelines for policy makers in the country to consider when framing government policy and rules. Before we begin, please keep in mind that this is a draft policy, and is subject to change. We hope you will give your feedback to the government via this page, and help making policy-making more broad-based and participatory. We'll submit our views as well. In Part 1 of this multi-part series analyzing the draft policy today, we look first at the sector that has so far received step-motherly treatment from the Indian government - Broadband. The Draft NTP-2011 seeks to allow citizens to participate in and contribute to e-governance in key sectors like health, education, banking etc. to ensure equitable and inclusive growth. Some broadband specific highlights: - Right To Broadband: The draft NTP-2011 proposes that policy makers should recognize telecom and broadband connectivity as a basic necessity like education and health and work towards 'Right to Broadband'. Our Take: great move, in our opinion, but lets hope this goes beyond lip-service. Will people be able to demand a broadband connection from service providers? For example, I live in a part of Delhi that Airtel doesn't service. - Definition Of Broadband: The draft NTP-2011 proposes to revise the existing broadband download speed of 256 Kbps to 512 Kbps and subsequently to 2 Mbps by 2015 and higher speeds of atleast 100 Mbps thereafter. Our…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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