"The Prime Minister in his Independence Day celebration address gave the target of a 1,000 days to [get broadband to 600,000 Indian villages]. It's not possible, seeing the terrain and geography of this country to reach all these villages through fibre and terrestrial micro-wave communications. There will be areas where they need to get connected through satellite communications," said K Ramchand, Member (Technology) at the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Ramchand made these remarks during a session at the Broadband India Forum's India Satcom event (broadcast here). He added that the DoT would look into light touch regulation for the industry. His remarks reflect the government warming up towards satellite broadband as a shortcut to getting broadband to places where laying fibre is too expensive; billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX, which runs a constellation of internet-providing satellites, urged the government recently to move in that direction. This also comes after Indian Space Research Organisation recently put out a draft space communications policy that encourages greater private participation. 'Satellite not just for rural areas' Pranav Roach, President of Hughes Network Systems India, a major player in India's satellite communications industry, complained that the industry hadn't seen the kind of generational growth that terrestrial mobile networks had, and expressed optimism about recent technological advancements that enabled high-speed internet to be carried over high-throughput and low-earth orbit satellites. For the moment, he said, satellite companies were working with their "hands tied behind their backs". "I hear frequently the insistence that satellite being a technology for…
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