#DigitalBharat: Differing on definition, everyone supports net neutrality

By: |
New Delhi | Updated: May 15, 2015 8:55 PM

Everyone supports net neutrality but all have their own definitions of the issue, said Arvind Gupta, national technology head, BJP at the Digital Bharat conference.

Digital Bharat#DigitalBharat: Former TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar said digital targets should be realistic, so that they can be completed on time.

Everyone supports net neutrality but all have their own definitions of the issue, said Arvind Gupta, national technology head, BJP during a debate at the Digital Bharat conference in New Delhi today.

Speaking at the two-day event organized by FICCI and supported by the Financial Express, Gupta said the content on Internet should reach all. Mahesh Uppal, director of ComFirst also said that net should be neutral.

Though internet users are increasing in urban centres, it is yet to reach a vast majority of people living in villages. Focussing on this, Rajat Mukerji of Idea Cellular said ‘the real question to be asked is how are we going to take internet to rural India.’

The discussion should focus on increasing internet reach, said Rajesh Chharia, president, ISPAI.

NASSCOM president R Chandrashekhar held the view that the user should have the unfettered right to what he wants to see.

Sanjay Goyal of ACL Mobile Ltd said, “The more you try to control the net, the more the problems will be.”

Earlier, delivering the keynote address at the session titled “Regulatory priorities for driving India’s digital agenda’, former TRAI chairman Rahul Khullar spelt out the challenges for the government in its digital drive. “There are institutional problems. The digital projects should not see the fate as we have done to other services like healthcare in the last 60 years. He also said digital targets should be realistic, so that they can be completed on time.

Here are the quotes from the session:

Aruna Sundararajan

Chairman cum Managing Director, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) & Administrator, USOF

Session: “Broadband Access: Connecting the Next Billion”

Emphasizing on the role of public-private-partnership in the success of Digital India, Sundararajan, while chairing the session “Broadband Access: Connecting the Next Billion”, stated, “Digital India has given us a vision, a path to work towards achieving India’s Digital transformation. While a lot of action lies with the government, it can’t do it alone. The industry has a key role to play in Digital India, for its success. The government and the industry must converge as well as optimize their resources, since the need for resources is quite high. Both must collectively identify which part of investment should be made by the government, and where the industry must pitch in”.

Expressing her views on the significance of Right of Way (RoW) in the success of Digital India,  Sundararajan said, it is important for the people to understand the benefits of RoW for penetration of broadband in India. Without broadband highways and Digital India, India’s future prospects in terms of broadband access, cannot be bright, especially in the rural parts of India.

Manoj Dawane
Vice President & Head of Technology, Government & Industry Relations, Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson India Pvt. Ltd.

Session: “Broadband Access:  Connecting the Next Billion”

“In order to achieve 600 Mn broadband subscribers we will need to ensure sufficient and contiguous spectrum availability, use globally harmonised spectrum bands for driving economies of scale and affordability. Further, using newer spectrum efficient utilisation techniques like carrier aggregation, LAA, SDL and spectrum pooling / sharing, we can optimise scarce resources in the most efficient manner. We need to ensure policy frameworks that support all such innovations with multistakeholder engagement.”

Sanjay Kaul

Managing Director Service Provider Business Group- India & SAARC, Cisco

Session: “Broadband Access:  Connecting the Next Billion”

Commenting on the need for more technological innovations in the country, Kaul stated, “Bring in technology which is not power hungry. Technologies like ‘Network Virtualization’ being offered by Cisco are key for the future”. Speaking on the developments in ‘Digital Literacy’ in India, Kaul said, “The last six months have been quite good in terms of spreading digital literacy. But in the long run, more need to be done in terms of bringing internet closer to the people. The internet must be made affordable to the people.”

Rajan Mathews

Director General, COAI

Session: “Broadband Access:  Connecting the Next Billion”

Mathews complemented FICCI for organizing Digital Bharat Conference by stating, “Digital Bharat is indeed a much needed forum to discuss how we will achieve Prime Minister Modi’s vision of ‘Broadband for all’”

P. Balaji

Director-Regulatory & External Affairs, Vodafone India Ltd.

Session: “Broadband Access:  Connecting the Next Billion”

“In order to realize ‘Digital India’ vision, significant investments in the range on INR 500,000 crore, need to be made in access infrastructure in India. It calls for multistakeholder engagements to attract investments and remove last mile challenges in terms of RoW and adequate spectrum.”

A K Bhargava

Advisor (Technology), Department of Telecommunications (DoT)

Session: “Driving Digital Infrastructure through ‘Make in India’”

“I see synergy between push for Digital Infrastructure and ‘Make in India’ as both talk about innovation, best in class manufacturing and a new mindset. The goal should be to establish a leadership role for India in creating digital infrastructure.”

R.M. Agarwal


Session: “M2M at the Heart of ‘Digital India’”

“I must appreciate this conference, especially this session on ‘M2M’, as it has come in the right time. It is the first public meeting after the launch of ‘M2M Telecom Roadmap’. It is the right platform to take this roadmap forward.”

R Chandrashekhar

President, NASSCOM

Session: “Expanding the Net Neutrality Debate”

“The debate on Net Neutrality is complex because it involves commercial, innovation, rights, security and other dimensions which may sometimes be conflicting. It is important in the Indian Context to address this issue, keeping in mind the imperatives of unshackling innovation in IT and preserving viability of broadband infrastructure.”

Dr. Arvind Gupta

National Head – Information and Technology, BJP

“Given the unique circumstances in India, we need to create a new definition of ‘Net Neutrality’, by which all the stakeholders are benefited. There should be no discrimination between access, cost, speed and content.”

Virat Bhatia

Chairman, Communications & Digital Economy Committee, FICCI

Session: “Expanding the Net Neutrality Debate”

“The session provided an excellent opportunity for an open and honest discussion of all views. FICCI, through Digital Bharat will continue to be a national platform for a nuance debate on all important issues.”

Rajat Mukarji

Co-Chairman, Communications & Digital Economy Committee, FICCI

Session: “Expanding the Net Neutrality Debate”

“The Net Neutrality Debate will remain in discussion because it is an amorphous and growing organism that defies definition. Many more conversations are needed to reach a consensus. At FICCI we would be happy to create the environment for a healthy debate.”

Do you know What is India expected to grow 10 pc during current fiscal: NCAER Director General Poonam Gupt,FinMin releases Rs 9,871 cr grant to 17 state, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1RBI’s MPC meet: With all eyes on Omicron’s impact, status quo likely on key rates for now
2Indian economy shows strong signs of recovery, upswing in 19 of 22 economic indicators
3Led by urea, fertiliser subsidies to soar 62 pc this fiscal on rising input costs: Report