Regulations that facilitate infrastructure with appropriate public resource use will enhance productivity.
Shyam Ponappa | March 7, 2019
Meanwhile, there are conceptual flaws in our approach. The National Optical Fibre Network (Bharat Broadband Network Limited or BharatNet) was conceived as a countrywide fibre backbone. The plan was for optical fibre links to 250,000 gram panchayat villages covering India’s approximately 600,000 inhabited villages. A major assumption, however, was that private operators would build access networks to villages and to users. This was unrealistic for a number of reasons. First, there’s the cost of covering sparse users over large expanses with low revenue potential. Second, the supportive regulations for wireless technologies to build the access networks were/are not in place. For example, even for the established 5 GHz WiFi range used globally for WiFi hotspots, restrictive policies meant that 5 GHz equipment could not be used effectively in India in urban or rural installations. This changed with new regulations for 5 GHz, but only four months ago in October 2018 (for details see https://organizing-india.blogspot.com/2018/11/a-great-start-on-wi-fi-reforms.html).