India needs more than 80 lakh hotspots, as against the availability of about 31,000 hotspots, to reach the global level of one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 150 people, according to a study.
The biggest challenge faced by the Digital India programme is the slow/delayed infrastructure development, said the study, ‘Digital India: Unlocking the trillion dollar opportunity’, jointly conducted by Assocham and research firm Deloitte. Spectrum availability in Indian metros is about a tenth of the same in cities in developed countries. This has put a major roadblock in providing high speed data services, the study said.
For Digital India to have a large-scale impact, the digital divide needs to be addressed through last-mile connectivity in remote rural areas. Currently, over 55,000 villages remain deprived of mobile connectivity. This is largely due to the fact that providing mobile connectivity in such locations is not commercially viable for service providers, said the joint study.
“For digital technology to be accessible to every citizen, significant efforts are needed to customise apps and services to cater to local needs. Finding vendors who can provide such applications has become a challenge,” it said.
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Challenges in policy, such as taxation, right of way, restrictive regulations, etc are major roadblocks in realising the vision of Digital India. Some of the common policy hurdles have impacted the growth of e-commerce, said the study.