Kapil Sibal for joint industry-DoT group on broadband

New Delhi: Union Minister for HRD, communications & IT Kapil Sibal suggested that a joint working group of industry led by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and government be set up to realise the broadband vision for inclusive growth.

Addressing the Broadband Summit 2012 co-organised by CII and Department of Telecom, the Minister reiterated his commitment to complete the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) by December 2013, saying that “the resultant possibilities for empowerment were limitless.” Sibal focussed on the need to lower costs and create relevant, multilingual content, said a CII release.

R Chandrashekhar, chairman, Telecom Commission & secretary, department of telecom, called for collaboration at all levels so that an entire ecosystem is created so as to realise the full potential of broadband. There was need for a lot of innovation and entrepreneurship, he added.

J Satyanarayana, secretary, Department of Electronics & IT, said setting up a seamless, national information infrastructure was critical to ensure that economic benefits flow to the last mile. The decider, he said, would be how many people are being reached or how many people are users.

Highlighting the potential of broadband, Robert Pepper, vice president, Global Technology Policy, Cisco, informed that more traffic will traverse global networks in 2016 than that from the beginning of internet till today, combined. India’s IP traffic is forecast to grow 11 times that in 2011, a CAGR of 62%, by 2016. Internet users are expected to rise to 502 million in the same period.

N Ravi Shankar, administrator USOF, said the industry needs to focus on the transformational aspects of the NOFN. Since the idea is to connect the 250,000 gram panchayats in the country, he suggested a public-private-panchayat partnership for achieving the targets and goals set by the National Telecom Policy 2012.

Acknowledging the fact the broadband contributes directly and substantially to GDP growth, Kiran Karnik, chairman, CII National Committee on Telecom & Broadband, stressed on the need for close partnership between industry and government to meet the challenge of building sustainability and scalability into the proposed network.

Earlier, Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII said that broadband represented the next big technology leap and would revolutionize the way we do things in India, especially in the delivery of public services.

The Summit, attended by representatives from government, industry, international organizations, academia, focused on strategies and solutions to facilitate greater broadband adoption that will develop smart connected communities.

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