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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009


    Default Telecom pricing: India's future prosperity at stake

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    The government of India is today poised to take a decision as momentous as those by China's eunuchs and mandarins and Spain's Ferdinand and Isabella. The question is, whom would it emulate?

    The issue is the cost of telecom, of broadband. What is at stake is not some additional government revenue or the finances of a handful of telcos, but cognitive empowerment of generations of Indians, the future earning power of millions of children from poor homes and the future competitiveness of the Indian economy.

    High-speed broadband is changing the world already, and is poised to change it even more fundamentally. The US National Broadband Plan aims to provide American household data connectivity at the transfer rate of 100 Megabits per second (Mbps), and every school, hospital and government office, at 1 Gigabits per second. The French Supreme Court has ruled the right to broadband a fundamental right. Several European nations have recognised broadband as a fundamental right of their citizens.

    Broadband affects the essence of human identity. Man is different from other fauna in that he has access to the experience of other members of his species across space and time, thanks to language, writing and books. What Pythagoras discovered in ancient Greece or the lyrical beauty Jayadeva described in 12th century India lives on and illuminates and delights minds in places distant from their original location. Depending on the quality of cultural life at home and at school, any human child is heir to the wealth of the world's knowledge and culture. What broadband does is to remove, to a great degree, cultural conditions at home from the equation.
    ...being a human...



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