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Cable TV infra can be used to provide broadband to 500 mn people, says TRAI’s RS Sharma

MUMBAI: India’s vast cable TV network can be used to provide broadband connectivity to 500 million people in a short span of time, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma said at the Skoch Summit.

TRAI RS SharmaSharma said that India has 100 million homes with digital cable TV. “The cable TV connection will become digital. If you have 100 million homes where you take this digital. These 100 million homes with same pipe with little bit of upgradation can be used for delivery of robust broadband connectivity,” he said.

He also said that TRAI has made several recommendations, and if those recommendations are implemented, it could transform India’s ranking, which is abysmally low.

“We have been following it with the Department of Telecom and the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Yesterday that pipe was used for providing cable TV service, but now it can also transfer bits and bytes. That can immediately provide connectivity to 500 million people,” Sharma explained.

He said that an average cable TV home is estimated to have five members.

The number of broadband subscribers increased grew 11.99% to 192.30 million at the end of September from 171.71 million at the end of August.

The government has set a target to connect 600 million people by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed under the National Telecom Policy 2012.