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Survey concerned over low tele-density

July 07, 2004 15:13 IST

Stressing on the need to have higher volume of voice telephony and Internet connectivity, the pre-Budget Economic Survey on Wednesday asked the government to take steps to push up the low level of Internet user base and tele-density.

"A concern for policy is the stagnation of Internet use -- both dial-up and broadband. One problem inhibiting the dial-up Internet usage is the lack of flat fee unlimited access tariff plans for fixed telephony," the Survey said.

Economic Survey 2003-2004: Complete Coverage

While the growth of broadband has been a vexing problem in many countries, some countries like South Korea have achieved remarkable penetration of broadband Internet access at homes, it said.

The Survey expressed hope that after a growth in the number of lines of roughly 40 per cent in 2003-04, continued growth in 2004-05 at the same rate and the next year will take the total number of lines to almost 150 million by the end of 2005-06.

"Yet the tele-density will be only about 14 by end March 2006", it said, adding there was a good possibility of obtaining faster growth to achieve a tele-density of 17 by end of 2005-06 on the back of high growth rates being seen in the mobile space.

The number of Internet subscribers grew by 15 per cent from 3.6 million to 4.2 million as of March 2004.

The Survey has termed the much long due spectrum policy on the allocation of this scarce resource to be a major factor which will shape the future of telecom industry as the trend is towards mobility with high data services.

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