Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal asked private telecom operators to replicate the success story of telecom revolution -- witnessed in urban India-- in rural areas as well.
"The fact that rural teledensity stands at 36 per cent against the urban teledensity of 163 per cent shows that the telecom revolution has not reached the people who really need to be benefited."
It should be our endeavour to ensure that this revolution is completed in an equitable manner," Sibal said while addressing the curtain raiser conference of 'India Telecom 2011: m-Powering India'.
In the same event, Tata Teleservices Ltd and IIT Bombay Center for Excellence in Telecom (TICET) launched Mobile Social Network Platform (MSNP), a unique and powerful social recommendation and networking platform, to develop personalised applications and send targeted promotions to users within the network.
However, Sibal has cautioned private telecom operators against selective use of the proposed National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for pushing their own products and emphasised the need for using the network for societal good.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) had already approved the national optical fibre network that will cost Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) in the first place.
The funding for the broadband network will come from the USO fund, the minister had said.
According to telecom regulator TRAI, the present data on the number of broadband subscribers only indicates individual connections, without throwing any light on the actual number of users accessing the broadband services or the usage pattern, as well as the hindrances and barriers to adoption and usage of broadband.
The number of broadband subscribers at the end of March 2005 stood at 0.18 million and it increased to 12.12 million at the end of May 2011, Trai data reveals.
There is an urgent need for a nationwide broadband network to connect education, healthcare, banking and other services infrastructure to the entire population, thereby, realising the objective of inclusive growth.