Sibal stresses on urgent need for finalization of national broadband plan

New Delhi, Jan 19 (ANI): Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal on Wednesday emphasized the urgent need for finalization of broadband plan including strategy for roll out of optical fibre.

Holding consultations with key stakeholders in a round table conference on the issue here, Sibal said: "The national broadband plan including the Optical Fibre Network, as a national resource would be equitably available to all the concerned stakeholders for providing broadband services in non-discriminatory manner."

Sibal further said the ultimate objective is to ensure inclusive growth through broadband for using various applications related to education, medical treatment, and entertainment and also an attempt to take it to every household.

He described broadband as an important enabler for delivery of e-governance and citizen-centric services particularly in the rural areas.

Sibal also stressed the need for optimum utilization of already available optical fibre and the need to have a plan for taking the fibre from block to the rural areas.e emphasized the need for two pronged approach for achieving the objectives of providing broadband under national broadband plan, one through wireless leveraging existing infrastructure and the other through laying of incremental optical fibre into rural areas.

In view of TRAI recommendations, which has provided detailed recommendations on various issues related to broadband including targets, broadband speed, time of execution, Sibal specifically solicited the views of all the participant stakeholders on institutional frame work needed for creation of optical fibre network, suggestions about the wireless broadband scheme as well as for the accelerated growth of broadband subscribers.

The main focus of the broadband plan is empowerment of the users and formulating the policy in such a way that it balances both the affordability of the consumers as well as the sustainability of the stakeholders providing broadband services.

Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot, the representatives of various industry associations like CII, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI), Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), TEMA, Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), main Access Service Providers, main internet service providers, CMD, BSNL, CMD, MTNL, representatives of TRAI, Rail-Tel, Power Grid Corporation, representatives of Cable Operators Association, PCO Association and representatives of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting attended the conference. (ANI)

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