Modi Government To Launch Broadband Readiness Index Of States

The government wants to ensure ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas, says Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan.

A plane flies over a telecom tower. (Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)  
A plane flies over a telecom tower. (Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)  

The government is planning to launch broadband services readiness index of states based on parameters like infrastructure, approval processes and utilization of the high-speed Internet, said a top telecom department official.

“According to a study by ICRIER (a research firm), $100 billion investment will have a seven-fold multiplier effect on GDP. There is a need for a national mission to make this happen. We are going to launch broadband readiness index for states which will be vital for investments,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told PTI.

She said the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has also shown interest in states readiness index and want to expand it further.

The telecom ministry will hold its first workshop on the implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy which envisages $100 billion investment in telecom sector by 2022, broadband connectivity at 50 megabits per second speed to every citizen, telecom connectivity at every corner of India and creating 40 lakh jobs.

This is the first preparatory national workshop on the implementation of NDCP in which 25 states have confirmed to participate. Here we will launch National Broadband Mission to achieve an objective of broadband for all.
Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan

Industry leaders and associations will discuss at the NDCP workshop issues they are facing in states especially in rolling out telecom infrastructure which in turn impact investments.

“We want to ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas, It should also reach rural areas. For this, we have to work with states to ensure that there is 100 percent penetration of optical fiber cables,” Sundararajan said. “Without massive OFC penetration, 5G services will not expand. States have to provide the smooth right of way permissions.”

5G networks provide an approximate broadband speed of 1 Gbps. Theoretically, a high definition 2-hour video can be downloaded in 5 seconds at this speed.