Need To Enhance Telecom Access In Rural Areas

Telecom and network connectivity have widely been seen as enablers of a socio-economic growth. The internet is without doubt the superhighway on which economies surge ahead, and apart from the apparent benefits to the economy and a modern workforce, there is also immense opportunity for agriculture as well as other traditional industries. Imagine if rural communities had access to information that could improve their livelihoods. Access to internet across sectors in rural areas can help develop their cottage industries, fisheries etc. The true benefits of technology are in its application and if an effective deployment of a network that enables academic information to flow to rural areas brought millions of children access better education, we should be able to improve our scores on literacy and employability. Partnerships serving as critical mechanisms for improving rural ICT access can take the form of partnerships within the public sector, negotiated public-private partnerships, private agreements among state holders in the telecommunications sector ,or informal understandings between service providers and state holders at the community level. Enabling such partnerships and maintaining them remains a key government role. Rural infrastructure development needs to be considered in light of the different oppurtunities offered by wired and wireless technologies. The internet access is therefore a basic human right and most of the rural areas are deprived of it. Developing countries have driven the growth of the sector in the last years. In1999, low‐ and middle‐income countries accounted for only 25 percent of the 500million mobile subscribers in the world, and by 2007 this proportion grew to 71 percent. In many developing countries, urban areas are already well covered, and growth strategies from operators are slowly shifting towards serving rural and low‐income areas with innovative business models based on low‐cost technologies. An interesting example of such innovations is the “Village Connection” model developed by Nokia and currently pursued in India. This model allows for rural entrepreneurs to manage small operations in their towns, with lower investment required, more efficient use of spectrum and totally relying on IP.

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