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India sets sights on 80% broadband penetration by 2030, requires Rs 4.2 lakh crore investment

By 2030, India needs Rs 4.2 lakh crore to connect 24 crore households with broadband, including investments in fiber, passive infrastructure, WiFi, data centers, and satellite broadband. The government is considering leveraging CSR funds and voluntary contributions to aid in achieving the goal of 80% broadband penetration by 2030.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: May 13, 2024, 06:04 AM - 3 mins read

India sets sights on 80% broadband penetration by 2030, requires Rs 4.2 lakh crore investment

India sets sights on 80% broadband penetration by 2030, requires Rs 4.2 lakh crore investment

The US has 92 per cent home broadband penetration, China 97 per cent, Japan 84 per cent and Germany 82 per cent.


India will require an investment of Rs 4.2 lakh crore by 2030 to connect 24 crore households in the country with broadband services, according to Prashant Singhal, Telecom Sector Leader, Emerging Markets, Partner in a member firm of EY Global.

 

Singhal, speaking at the Broadband India Forum conference, highlighted that currently, only 4 crore households in India are connected to broadband.

"To connect 24 crore households in India with high-speed broadband service, India will need to invest Rs 4.2 lakh crore on digital connectivity infrastructure across all modes—fibre, mobile towers, satellite broadband, wifi, data centres, etc.," Singhal said.

 

Singhal provided a breakdown of the required investments, stating that fibre deployment alone would necessitate investments in the range of Rs 2.7–3 lakh crore. Passive infrastructure would require Rs 90,000–96,000 crore, WiFi and in-building solutions Rs 6,600–Rs 9,000 crore, data centres Rs 9,700–Rs 14,100 crore, and satellite broadband services Rs 26,000–29,000 crore.

 

He suggested leveraging the USOF (universal services obligation fund) and allowing the use of CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds for building the required infrastructure. "Once the CSR route is opened up, even OTT players, e-commerce companies, etc. will be able to contribute," Singhal added.

 

Singhal also proposed encouraging high ARPU (average revenue per user)-paying customers to voluntarily contribute to bridging the digital divide.

According to Singhal, India presently has 16 crore 5G subscribers, projected to grow to 80 crore by 2030, with data consumption expected to rise from 24 GB to 75 GB per month during the same period.

 

He emphasised the need for India to improve its broadband penetration to compete with top economies. "If we compare our broadband penetration with the top 4-5 economies, we are at 13 percent. This has to go up to 80 percent," he said.

 

BIF President TV Ramachandran echoed the urgency, stating that India's current fixed broadband deployment is insufficient to meet the exploding data consumption. "With fixed broadband data usage reaching 10–20 times mobile data consumption per capita, we need a minimum 20 percent annual growth rate in fixed broadband subscriptions over the next six years to reach just 100 million additional fibre connections," he concluded.

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