New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Broadband India Forum (BIF) on Wednesday hailed the government's step to raise the minimum speed of broadband to 2Mbps from 512Kbps, which is a 400 per cent increase. However, it stressed that this is not enough for a 'mobile first' country.
The Forum said that it is unfortunate that as many as 45,180 villages in India do not have any 4G coverage at all.
"While this upgradation in minimum broadband speed is indeed a big milestone, India still has a long way to go to catch up with major regimes like the US where the regulator (FCC) has already prescribed a minimum broadband speed of 25Mbps," said the BIF.
Even Bangladesh has prescribed a higher minimum broadband speed of 5Mbps.
Still, the move will help in lifting the overall quantum of per capita data consumption and improve the service experience.
Being a 'mobile first' country, India heavily relies on mobile broadband with almost 98 per cent of the broadband users accessing it via their mobile phones.
"2Mbps may not sound good enough for the modern broadband era as one would need much higher speeds for satisfactory experience in applications viz. telecommuting, file downloading, video conferencing, streaming video - both SD & HD," said TV Ramachandran, President, BIF.
Nevertheless, "this strong nudge provided by the government will definitely help ensure improved consumer experience and consumer satisfaction," Ramachandran added.
The move will particularly benefit consumers in rural areas, suburban areas and fringes of metros who are heavy video consumers and rely more on video and data-rich apps.
"Studies have shown that for experiencing good quality of video streaming one needs to have download speeds much in excess of even 5Mbps and probably nearer values of 14Mbps or 15Mbps," said the BIF.
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