India Adds Just 20,000 Broadband Subscribers In October 2007


Corny though it may be, I found the title of this story (“Broadband now a power point presentation”) in the Times of India to be very perceptive. Because that’s pretty much what broadband in India has remained – some numbers on a slide. Projections have been made for 20 million subs by 2010, definitions have been conveniently tweaked to show that we’re still on track…and yet not much that has happened on the ground…even the base price for the auction of WiMax spectrum is rather prohibitive.

The “official” figures from the TRAI for broadband subscribers are as follows:

Just 20,000 broadband subscribers were added in October. And now, after a gap of over a year, we’re talking again about broadband over power lines (never mind issues related to interference)…I guess some day there’ll be talk about broadband via the water tap, but that’s what it will be — talk.



Unfortunately, people outside of Asia know only one internet.. the one accessed on PC. Secondly, like their cars they like their access .. big, space taking and fuel guzzling. Their investments are all in this space, even in Asia.

Local low internet speeds need local solutions. High bandwidth economy content that takes less space and is deliverable over the internet on both devices – mobile & PC. I am sure someone is working on a solution that does just that.

People are investing in search, advertising, customer tracking etc but the fact is that companies and investors have failed the consumer or lets say the consumer has given an "F" to all the current stuff. They arent interested and the numbers show they arent coming anytime soon.

So what is the industry going to do? keep using this sites comment column to shamelessly push another "me too" clone service? Its been a long time since we have seen something really new and different…both internationally and in India.

But I have hope that someone sitting in his room working late and night will have a brainwave and will do something soon that will add zeros to the insultingly low number of broadband additions.


— sorry about the "Test" messages, Nikhil.
Feel free to….you know…ZAP 'em. —


Hilarious. Does anyone remember the April Fools' Day prank Google pulled about wireless broadband via the toilet? I started doubting my sanity and intelligence since then(…embarrassing, but true: I actually gave it some active consideration that morning….).

But then I figured, that's how pathetic my broadband connection in Bombay was- on the one hand, I was used to 2 Mbps download speeds on broadband at home in the US, and then for 14 days in Bombay, I had to get used to 37 kbps "broadband" downloads.
So I excused myself at some point for desperately looking under the toilet for a faster alternative.

But have heart..! Hum honge 'connected' ek din…and online services targeted towards Indians in India is what'll ultimately drive up penetration/infrastructure.
Mobile internet is fine(although my personal usage thereof stops with the B-berry), but gawd…mo-BILE, mo-SPAM! I shudder at the thought of MMS spam….

One possibility that emerges is that maybe mobile web services will develop, and PC users want/NEED access to the same services, driving up wired Internet access demand.

My mum talks about this scenario all the time….touching your left ear with your right hand from behind your head.

Mudit Aggarwal

I am not sure to call this state of affairs sad or just bad!!!

What is now seemingly the way forward that India shall witness the mobile+internet boom, which is already on its way anyway. The fact that authorities still decide to keep the same targets for 2010 and not really come out with true picture is strange!


I agree with Dudani – I am part of a content company and suddenly we have been seeing more traffic from mobile internet rather than from wired internet. In fact, I am now more kicked about the prospects of mobile internet than normal internet. I feel we will pass-over the PC penetration phase and go directly to mobile internet (just like we did with landline telephony).


The reason is that the primary increase in India's internet users are now happening on mobile rather than on internet. Mobile speeds are fast and cheap (free in some cases).

Rajesh Kalidumbil

HaHa HaHa HaHa

Probably given the quality of TV we are blessed with, we will be seeing spTV soon – TV over the sewage protocol. Only metro and tier 2 cities – but this is a chance for the urban govt guys also to get on the bandwagon.

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