Media reports indicate that there is a proposal to reduce the licence fee for fixed-line broadband services to households. Under the proposed plan, licence fee on the adjusted gross revenue earned from households for providing fixed-line broadband services will be reduced to Rs 1 per year.

Commenting on the development, TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum (BIF), said, “This is a welcome move for the broadband sector, and we are positive that this will help boost both access and affordability of broadband services to the citizens across the country. Apart from the increased socio-economic inclusion of the people, this could also have a positive impact on the aspects of job-creation, learning/skill development, as well as making available other progressive digital facilities and utilities for the people. An ICRIER study has established that a 10 per cent increase in total internet traffic in India leads to an immense 3.3 per cent increase in GDP. Therefore, increased availability and uptake of economical and affordable broadband services will definitely add to both the economic as well as demographic development of the nation, leading to fulfilling the ‘Broadband for All’ objective.”

He further added, “Moreover, with Work-from-Home, or rather Work-from-Anywhere slated to become a sustained practice, even post the present Covid19 affected scenario, it becomes all the more essential for quality broadband services being made accessible to the people. This will help provide better involvement, productivity, and thereby continued and growing contribution to commercial operations and output. Going forward, this measure must also be adopted to extend the benefits of robust and widespread broadband coverage at low-cost prices across the entire business community. This, in turn, would bolster the march forward for the ‘Digital India’ mission of the government to ‘transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy’.”