When can Internet actually be said to have touched the lives of Indians? “When a wife beaten by his drunken husband in a remote village will take the help of the Internet to find out who exactly she can seek help from,” observed Laveesh Bhandari, Director, Indicus Analytics, and Chief Mentor, Raftaar.com in a seminar on ‘Internet Governance’, held in the Capital on September 2. The seminar was organised by FICCI and the Department of IT.
“Though Internet penetration has started reaching the non-metros, the content focus is still on English language. If we don’t make our content multi-lingual, then Internet growth in the English language will saturate in two years,” pointed out Vinay Kumar, Director, Times Internet Ltd.
He, however, he pointed out that it was something like the chicken-egg puzzle for content creators – whether supply of local content should drive its demand or whether demand for local content will drive multi-lingual content.
Kumar also called for providing incentives for digital regional content providers and creation of vibrant regional content and services ecosystem through standardisation and funding.
“There is lack of coordination among government organisations. The Government should stress on common mapping of keyboards and common coding. It should also make it mandatory for the IT industry to carry Indian language enabling software,” Bhandari said.
Sivaramakrishnan V, President, Portal, Sify Ltd, also supported standardisation of Indian fonts. Replying to Kumar’s contention regarding local content, Sivaramakrishnan said, “Creation of local content will drive aspirations and demand.”
Speaking on the topic ‘Internet Connectivity: Policy and Cost’, Deepak Maheshwari, Secretary, ISPAI, said, “Earlier, one would opt for Internet access if one had a PC, now one often invests in a PC because one has to access the Internet.”
Maheshwari emphasised on expansion of last mile Internet access infrastructure, whether through wired or wireless means. “Though Wimax equipment have been certified, spectrum has not been allotted for its implementation in India,” he said.
Putting forward his proposals for the acceleration of broadband penetration in India, Maheshwari said, “TRAI must expeditiously review DLC and IPCL tariff ceilings and consider permitting bandwidth resale. TRAI should also rationalise spectrum pricing, streamline wireless licensing and consider Local Loop Unbundling.”