India to unveil national broadband plan

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India is planning a carrier-neutral national broadband network designed to connect 160m homes in three years

India’s telecom minister will unveil a blueprint for the country’s National Broadband Plan by the end of March. Kapil Sibal, the minister for communications and information technology, has said that the plan is to connect 160 million households with high-speed internet connections by 2014.
Sibal has consulted industry representatives to finalise the framework for the NBP and develop a strategy to roll out optical fibre. According to the plan, the fibre network will be treated as a national resource and will be equally available to operators for providing broadband services.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended the NBP should be funded through a universal service obligation fund and loans from the government.
The minister met key stakeholders including the regulator, industry representatives and mobile, internet and cable providers as well as Rail-Tel and the Power Grid Corporation. GTB