ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Diffusion of Broadband Internet in India

India has one of the lowest diffusion rates for broadband among the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa grouping, or BRICS. India has also been very slow in terms of the diffusion of mobile phone services. While it took only five years for mobile phone services to reach a diffusion rate of 75%, after 10 years the diffusion rate of broadband has not even reached 10%. In this context, this study attempts to measure the rate of diffusion of broadband in the country, identifies the factors that determine its adoption at the subscriber level, and discusses the policy challenges for hastening the diffusion rate.

Net Neutrality to Digital Dynamism

The uproar over net neutrality ignores the fact that the net has not been neutral for many years. It is neither feasible nor desirable to return to an imagined state of original innocence. At the same time, the ideal of an internet driven by innovation and directed by consumer choice remains as valid as ever. It is not net neutrality that is needed now, it is digital dynamism that should be the priority.

Unfinished Tasks in the Liberalisation of Spectrum for Mobile Services

After a command and control paradigm of spectrum management lasting from 2001 to 2008, India has gone in for a phased transition to a liberalised regime. Notable elements of this change include the unbundling of spectrum from the service licence, the choice of the auction mechanism for the assignment of spectrum and the freedom to use a spectrum block with any technology. However, elements of the current scenario of spectrum markets in India indicate that there remains an unfinished agenda in spectrum liberalisation. These include a high price of spectrum compared to international benchmarks, low spectrum holding per operator, and vast tracts of unutilised spectrum in rural areas. The lacunae in the current framework of spectrum management leading to persisting inefficiencies are elaborated upon and solutions proposed.

The Economics of Net Neutrality

The emergence of broadband networks - both wireline and wireless - has assisted in fostering the applications and content development, and provided content and application providers with a huge and growing addressable market with very low barriers to entry. However, there is always a tension between end-user connectivity providers and CAPs on the nuances of net neutrality, the principle that content consumed should be decided by the end-user without any distortion by the connectivity provider. While much attention has been paid to the technology dimensions of net neutrality, this paper addresses the economic dimensions, including access and termination pricing, the waterbed effect, and the two-sided nature of broadband markets. The paper also summarises regulatory views on net neutrality in the advanced countries such as the United States and the European Union and contrasts them with possibilities in emerging countries such as India.

A Critique of Spectrum Management in India

This article examines the recommendations of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India for preventing the "winner's curse" and promoting a healthy competitive environment for sustaining the growth of this exponentially growing industry.

Spectrum Allocation Mechanism for 3G Mobile Services

This article suggests a revision of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India's bidding process that allocates spectrum space to mobile phone service providers for the provision of 3G services.

Why Do Farmers Commit Suicide?

Individuals and communities are under pressure to cope with the changes brought about by a churn in socio-economic conditions. The policies associated with the process of economic liberalisation have imposed a stress on the peasantry leading to suicides. The tragic developments in rural Andhra Pradesh should compel us to draw important lessons for India's agrarian economy.

Network Externalities in Telecom

Telecom policies should be developed to foster the positive effects of network externalities, which enable the building up of a critical mass of users for services, thus motivating further growth.
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