Broad­band as a Driver

Voice&Data - - COVER STORY - Leader, Tech­nol­ogy, Me­dia & Tele­com, Deloitte In­dia

Broad­band has emerged be­yond a source of in­fo­tain­ment and has risen in stature across the world. As per a World Bank study, a 10% in­crease in broad­band pen­e­tra­tion leads to a rise of 1.38% in the eco­nomic growth of a coun­try. This di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween GDP and broad­band de­mands that as much as the pen­e­tra­tion can be in­creased widen­ing the foot­prints of broad­band in the econ­omy, it is go­ing to have a pos­i­tive bear­ing on the GDP.

More­over, as we see the tran­si­tion of dig­i­ti­za­tion of ser­vices tak­ing place where ev­ery­thing from ed­u­ca­tion to health­care to re­tail is hap­pen­ing over In­ter­net, it means that the im­pli­ca­tions are on other sec­tors as well and not only on the com­mu­ni­ca­tions and IT.

G2C ser­vice dig­i­tal de­liv­ery is a key pro­gram be­ing im­ple­mented by the govern­ment. Be it the so­cial sec­tors of ed­u­ca­tion and health­care to the pub­lic sec­tors of fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion, sub­sidy man­age­ment and pub­lic distri­bu­tion of food and util­ity ser­vices, Broad­band is emerg­ing as the key en­abler.

Ed­u­ca­tion and health­care are two pri­or­ity sec­tors where we have access im­bal­ance among ru­ral ver­sus ur­ban ar­eas. Broad­band can make qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and health­care avail­able to peo­ple liv­ing in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas where the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture might be oth­er­wise un­der­de­vel­oped.

The futuristic views of con­nected so­ci­eties and peo­ple are all spoked around re­li­able and fast con­nec­tiv­ity of In­ter­net ser­vices.

Re­visit the def­i­ni­tion of Broad­band in terms of min­i­mum speed thresh­olds and aug­ment it as per the global stan­dards. The broad­band in In­dia has to be at par with broad­band else­where. It is rec­om­mended that min­i­mum speed be de­fined as 2 MBPS and at least 100 MBPS for on-de­mand Broad­band.

The Na­tional Tele­com Pol­icy of 2012 has ob­jec­tively set goals for Broad­band. There is a need for de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing an ac­tion plan to re­al­ize th­ese. This will help pri­vate en­ti­ties also to pri­or­i­tize their busi­ness ob­jec­tives for In­dia ac­cord­ingly.

Broad­band cuts across dif­fer­ent in­dus­try and so­cial sec­tors. It is im­por­tant that while Broad­band is nur­tured in the coun­try, it is not seen as a plain pipe ser­vice, but in con­junc­tion with the over­ly­ing ser­vices that will be pro­vi­sioned or cre­ated in due course of time.

There have to be use cases built. There is a need to fo­cus on cre­ation of con­tent that would be con­sumed over the Broad­band ser­vices. In­dia be­ing a land of languages and cul­tures, with very wide de­mo­graphic di­ver­sity, calls for repli­ca­tion of the same in the dig­i­tal arena as well. For the same, cre­ation of con­tent in re­gional languages should be pro­moted so that more and more peo­ple find rea­sons to con­nect on to Broad­band that would later in­crease their en­gage­ment with the dig­i­tal as­sets avail­able.

If broad­band pen­e­tra­tion can in­crease from 150 mil­lion to 600 mil­lion, there could be a 4-5 per­cent pos­i­tive im­pact on GDP of our coun­try

He­mant Joshi

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