Tele-density to increase to 20 percent by 2008
By agencies | Friday, 25 February 2005, 08:00 Hrs
NEW DELHI: Providing voice and data connectivity to rural areas will be the focus of India's telecom policy, as the country aims to achieve over 20 percent tele-density by 2008, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today said. Addressing a joint sitting of parliament on the opening day of the budget session, he said the government planned to increase tele-density from a "lowly 8.4 percent today to more than 20 percent by 2008". "The success of our telecom policy over the past decade has demonstrated the benefits of pursuing a liberal policy in the infrastructure sector," the president said, noting that the beneficiary of such policy ultimately was the consumer. He said priority would be given to provision of voice and data transmission connectivity in rural areas. "The broadband policy announced recently would enhance internet connectivity with increased speed. This, in turn, would help our rural areas to take advantage of the benefits of e-governance, e-education and e-health," he said. "The digital divide between rural and urban areas must be bridged expeditiously, since it is possible for us to leapfrog into next generation IT," the president noted.