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700 million people without access to broadband services: Report

BANGALORE: Some 700 million people in the world are without access to broadband services due to cost barriers, lack of awareness and relevant content in the local context especially for rural areas, says a 108 page report titled Connected Possibilities; Innovation, Integration and Inclusiveness prepared by Huawei India, an information, communication and technology (ICT) solutions provider, in association with Ernst & Young.

"More than 60% of current broadband subscribers reside in the top 10 metros and tier-I cities and more than 75% connections belong to top 30 cities. Only 5% of the broadband connections are in rural areas in comparison to 31% of total mobile telephones. In comparison to other BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Indonesia), India fares the lowest in terms of internet and PC penetration. Internet users in Indian on an average spend only 0.5 hr online each day, which is lowest rate amongst all the BRICI countries owing to affordability and accessibility bottlenecks,'' said A Sethuraman, executive director, Huawei India.

The report not only highlight telecom sector's which contribution towards GDP, but also how the sector catalyzes development in other sectors to additionally generate economic surplus. Per the evaluation every 10% increase in mobile penetration rate is expected to increase the GDP of the country by 1.2%. The report also highlights an addition of net revenue of $ 31 billion (37% growth) and $ 27.5 billion (42% growth) in education and healthcare industries respectively and is optimistic that M-commerce would be next revolution in the telecommunication and banking industry providing the consumer with an opportunity to transact anytime and anywhere. It also elicits role of E-Governance in strengthening government processes and their evaluation.

Source: TimesofIndia

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