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India plans free 2 Mbps broadband access for all

Fri, 04/27/2007 - 9:55am
Brian Santo

Encouraged by the examples of U.S. municipalities offering free Wi-Fi access, the government of India is proposing a plan to offer all citizens of India free, high-speed broadband connectivity by 2009, through the state-owned telecom service providers BSNL and MTNL.

The idea is to boost economic activity in general. The government of India plans to roll out free broadband connectivity at a speed of 2 Mbps across the country. Funding would come from the country’s Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), into which all Indian telecom operators contribute 5 percent of their yearly revenue.

The government plans to install an extensive fiber network across the country, and ask all Internet service providers to connect to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI).

Broadband providers in India have some of the highest fees in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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