Broadbasing Broadband: Times of India -Editorial

Posted on April 5, 2008  /  0 Comments

Technology is full of paradoxes. While Moore’s Law ensures that our computers get cheaper and faster every few months, there is no corresponding law that ensures that the same happens with our internet connections. TRAI data shows that some 60 million people in India have access to the internet. This may seem like a substantive figure, but is only 6 per cent of the population. More shocking is that while India has over 46 million wireless internet subscribers, broadband subscribers number a mere 2.47 million. It is ironic that in a country famed for its IT services, internet connectivity in general and broadband connectivity in particular is so poor.

India has, in fact, one of the lowest broadband subscriber penetration rates in Asia. So what accounts for the slow growth? One reason could be the price of a broadband connection. Broadband is defined by TRAI as an always-on data connection that can support internet access and a minimum download speed of 256 kbps. Prices for such connections have remained static the past few years. A simple comparison between the cost of broadband in India and, say, the United States, reveals that on a one-year contract, while the cost per month of a connection in both countries is roughly the same, the data transfer speed in the US is at least double than that in India.

Read the full article here.

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