India's Trai proposes $13b NBN

Santosh Sathanur, Steven Hartley and Charlie Davies/Ovum
16 Dec 2010

The framework comes after the 2004 national broadband policy failed to markedly develop the Indian broadband market.

Currently, there are 10 million fixed broadband subscribers in India, a penetration of less than 1%. Under the 2004 plan, there were expected to be 20 million fixed broadband subscribers by 2010.

Trai has suggested setting up a National Optical Fiber Authority (NOFA), a central agency, and a State Optical Fiber Authority (SOFA).

These organizations will drive the rollout of the proposed $13.34 billion NBN, which will cover 63 large cities, 4,315 cities/towns, and contain more than 25 million route kilometers of fiber.

Through the NBN, Trai has targeted 75 million broadband connections by 2012, and 160 million connections with download speeds of 10Mbps in 63 large cities, 4Mbps in 352 cities, and 2Mbps in the remaining towns/villages by 2014.

Trai expects that the NBN will yield annual revenues of $5.8 billion once it is fully operational. Although Trai’s plan will bring renewed relevance to wired networks in the country, we believe that mobile broadband will continue to be the driver for increased broadband penetration in India.

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