The Real Bet towards Digital India

Emmanuel Christi Das, EditorYour ISP makes the Internet a possibility. There needs to be stronger government industry partnerships to promote internet connectivity. “Connectivity is the most critical part of digital infrastructure,” said R. S. Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI). This has to be reliable even in the most remote parts of India so as to deliver the India Stack layer of digital services such as authentication and secure payment. India ranks below Bhutan and SriLanka in terms of broadband access. India can’t be seen as a relative ‘superpower’ when it comes to the IT industry but'super poor' in connecting all its citizens.All manner of connectivity options should be
encouraged, said Sharma, including ‘open sky’ approaches via satellite and balloons. Ensuring affordability is extremely important in the Indian context, without violating the principles of Net Neutrality, according to Sharma.

While India’s telecom success story seems to be dominated by mobiles, there also needs to be adequate focus on landline access for broadband internet, cautioned Sharma. Having only 20 million fixed landlines in addition to mobiles will not be enough to meet the ‘data crisis’ created by data hungry applications. Countries like the US and South Korea still have highspeed broadband via landlines, whereas 95percent of broadband access in India is via wireless, said Sharma. Fibre access is also a part of India’s National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) but it is hard for government to build, maintain and market it. Cable TV providers can also ramp up their internet offerings, but there have been concerns over the ability of smaller such providers to offer the high level of service that internet users expect.

In this edition, we’re highlighting the country’s fast growing ISPs. These ISPs have grown in no time and are contributing directly to the internet usage and indirectly to the country inclusiveness to connectivity. We recognize their phenomenal contribution to the Digital India Initiative.
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