India wants cheap broadband


You have to love the Indian ministers and politicians – they can be completely delusional without any artificial mind altering drugs. Dayanidhi Maran, the IT & Communications minister dreams of rolling out cheap broadband to the masses, and wants to grow the broadband user base from current 3 million (highly questionable) to 20 million by 2010. “China and Korea are the only countries that match our volume-based broadband offerings for corporates. We are much, much cheaper than broadband service providers in Europe and the United States,” he told AFP. Excuse me… Mr. Maran, China and Korea don’t try and pass off 256 KBPS as broadband. In those countries 20 megabits per second connections are a norm, not an exception. His arguments and desires don’t make sense because the PC penetration remains abysmally low. It makes no sense because despite opening telecom sector to foreign investment, no large International giant has even as much as feigned an interest in the country. What is clear – India needs to get its broadband act together fast, otherwise it would be once again left behind in a world where broadband is an economic advantage, not a luxury



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Now with the end of “BSNL’ s” honeymoon offer, where is the so called `cheap broadband’ as flaunted by Mr. Maran? In China one can get 1mbps unlimited connection for $15 (Verycd); in UK one can get 2mbps unlimited connection for Pound 19 (Bulldog); in The Netherlands one is offered 5mbps unlimited connection for 29 Euros. May I question Mr. Maran what’s the big deal with $11 for a 256kbps connection with a cap of 1GB?


That 256kbps cap was a good point.. as well as bad depends how u see it.. Like earlier people were shamelessly selling 64kbps as broadband .. so when compared with that this … little relief but they should have put atleast 512.. coz many just provide the min said to be classified as broadband service provider … no package greater then 256

2mbps… lol probably some of small IPS just have leased line speed of 2mbps.. Forget individual getting 2mbps speed

The thing, which I dislike, is…. Putting data transfer limit in broadband I mean it just demeans the word broadband when u put data cap like 400mb a month… its like giving a person fishing net and leaving him in no fishing zone

Deep Panwar

True, clean water and other basic amenities are far more important than the speed with which you will get Paris hilton’s exploits.


I think electricity should be on their mind – not broadband! Wi-Fi could bring “shared” internet connectivity to rural communities. I know of a group which is even trying to provide Voice over WiFi as phone service within small villages in Nepal. SIP Phones and repeaters installed at various PoPs (points of presence) to give intra-village phone service? Well thats a far cry I agree, given the popularity of mobile phones. But for now lets focus – electricity for everyone. And clean drinking water.

Sandeep Kaul

Hey Salil, it’s INR 9,000 a month for a 2Mbps connection (only for business) from BSNL. That’s around USD 200 a month! Not to forget the 40GB data cap.

It’s INR 42,999 a month from MTNL for a 2Mbps line and a data download cap of 60GB. So, that’s around USD 975 a month!

Are we cheaper than the USA and/or Europe?

Amit C.

That was an elegant way of displaying sarcasm! :)
But sadly it is the ground reality. What worried me more is that even internet cafes in Delhi in S. Ex and other places had the most poor link I have seen. It would take 45 minutes to download the inbox and read (not respond) 3 emails at yahoo.

The exception was Reliance webworld, but they need a membership and had a wait time to get a computer.

Indian broadcom has light years to go, sadly, Indian cellular networks and users on the other hand are way ahead of atleast the US….

Amit C
Santa Clara, CA

Sandeep Kaul

Hey, Maran didn’t even mention anything about the world’s most assinine download caps. MTNL starts with 400MB!

Shashi Kumar

I second your thoughts – Services offered by all the players is very bad in India – forget about “affordableâ€? broadband, getting a telephone line (landline) is still an issue outside the 5 KMS periphery of cities (Metros and major cities), and talking of PC penetration rate is really absurd – for all practical both are asymptotic “Conceptsâ€? in Indian Telephony market.

Salil Khamkar

256kbps is where the offerings start from. The current offerings go right upto 2mbps over the same link. Pay more and get additional bandwidth activated immediately.

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