Sunday, January 18, 2009

Broadband plans to beat recession

Broadband has lot of expectations loaded on it. During the talks of the slowing down of the economy in many of the worlds's nations, one theme is persistent - spending on infrastructure to create advance broadband networks to beat the downturn.

In the U.S., it it well known what Barack Obama thinks about broadband. Wireless broadband has consistently found a place of primacy in Obama's plans to revive the nation's fortunes. The idea is good to make wireless broadband as free and available as tap water and Obama's is keen to spend upwards of $6 billion to achieve this target. Broadband would be consistent theme running through Obama's presidency and I guess he will be one President who is going to be celebrated because of his technological vision.

In the UK there is talk that worldclass broadband is required for the economy to find its feet and get running again. Internet is seen to be the more important business tool around which a lot of disposable income will flow. The nation's plan machines are working feverishly to push for better broadband infrastructure to make it good enough for a lot of business transactions.

Now, what does this mean to India as one of the hubs of knowledge economy? Better broadband would translate to better offshoring and cheaper infrastructure costs and in turn better reach of services. India has to realize that the grand broadband plans laid out by countries is to be prepared for the revival of the economy. Free or cheap broadband can do wonders for India in education,  rural markets, relief activities and development at a grassroot level and also boost the retail segment at the topline. I remember reports about a national plan to provide free or cheap broadband on a very ambitious scale ( ET Link ) by *2009* - that day has come now and it would be better if the start is made even now to make good the promise of connectivity. Amid an earning streak by the telecom industry, there is no better time than now to get go on the grand plans for broadband.

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