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TRAI wants private sector entry in NOFN, promote cable broadband & others

Well, it's about time: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper to discuss the reasons for the poor broadband penetration in India as well as seek comments on the steps required to increase the penetration and use of broadband in the country. You can download the consultation paper here and submit your views by October 14, 2014 and counter comments by October 21, 2014 to nsl.trai@gmail.com. Remember that India currently has only 15.04 million broadband customers as per the latest TRAI numbers (pdf), which hasn't really progressed over the past few years unlike the mobile connection base which has witnessed a massive growth in the same period. It also reportedly has the slowest average Internet speed among countries in the Asia Pacific region and one of the slowest broadband adoption rate globally. However, increasing the broadband penetration in India has been one of the prominent objectives of the new BJP government ever it came into power earlier this year. This was also part of its election manifesto, indicating that there is some possible signs of improvement in the future. During the Union Budget in July this year, the Indian government had also proposed a pan-India programme called 'Digital India', whose one of the objectives was to ensure Broadband connectivity at village level. This program was expected to provide broadband to 2.5 lakh villages, 400,000 public internet access points, Wi-Fi in 2.5 lakh schools and universities along with public wi-fi hotspots for citizens among other things. This program received the cabinet approval last month. There were also reports of Department of Telecom (DoT) planning to to…

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