The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended a National Broadband Plan involving the setting up of a Rs60,000-crore fibre optic network across the country.
The National Broadband Plan envisages provision of 75 million broadband connections, including 17 million DSL, 30 million cable and 28 million wireless broadband, by the year 2012 and 160 million broadband connections, consisting of 22 million DSL, 78 million cable and 60 million wireless broadband, by the year 2014.
The National Broadband Network, estimated to cost about Rs60,000 crore, will be financed by universal service obligation (USO) fund and loan given or guaranteed by the central government.
The National Broadband Network will be an open access optical fibre network connecting all habitations with population of 500 and above. The network will be set up in two phases.
The first phase covering all cities, urban areas and gram panchayats will be completed by the year 2012 while Pase II, involving extension of the network to all habitations having a population more than 500, will be completed by the year 2013.
"An effective National Broadband network would greatly facilitate inclusive growth of the country by including the large rural population in governance and decision making process and extend to the rural areas better education, health and banking facilities," TRAI said in a letter to the secretary, department of telecom (DoT).
Information and communication technology (ICT) in general and broadband in particular contribute substantially to growth of GDP and towards poverty elevation by improving access with equity, TRAI said in its recommendations.