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Breaking News : Broadband may soon get cheaper
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Broadband access and usage may become more affordable as the government is likely to review duties levied on inputs and finished products used in providing broadband and internet services.

Modems and routers used for internet and broadband may also become cheaper as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended 100% depreciation in the first year.

On Wednesday, Indian telecom regulator issued recommendations on the national broadband plan aiming at inclusive growth, easy access to high speed data and increase broadband penetration in the country.

The government has missed its target of 20 million broadband connections within this year, reaching only 10.3 million. As of September this year, broadband penetration was 0.8% against teledensity of 60.99%.

The objective of national broadband network is to provide optic fibre to homes in 63 cities covered under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM), and within half a km distance from homes in all other cities. Therefore, recommendations include an open access optical fibre network connecting all habitation with population of 500 and above, which will be set up in two phases.

The first phase covering all cities, urban areas and gram panchayats will be completed by the year 2012. Phase II will see the extension of the network to all the habitations having a population more than 500, to be completed by the year 2013.

The Indian government would spend around Rs 60,000 crore on setting up the broadband network as a loan to be financed by USO fund. A target of providing 75 million broadband connections has been kept by 2012 and 160 million broadband connections by the year 2014.

The optical fibre network would support huge bandwidth requirement for provision of broadband and facilitate broadband growth. TRAI feels this would increase GDP growth as the recommendations quote a study highlighting a 1.38% increase in the per capita GDP growth in developing economies with 10% increase in broadband penetration.

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