May 2017




The government is considering an internet platform that will present "India's point of view and perspective on global events on the Internet". Operating cost is estimated at around Rs. 75 crore per annum.

The idea was discussed by a committee headed by the Prasar Bharati chairman, A Surya Prakash, and the Prasar board has approved it recently. The digital channel, according to its concept note, "will challenge the anti-India narrative in foreign media through hard and compelling commentary, challenge stereotypes attributed to Indian systems and put forward the India perspective".

The report of the Prasar Bharati committee recommends the proposed digital platform be created "through an appropriate corporate structure under the Companies Act, 2013, that will ensure both financial autonomy and global competitiveness". The goals of this initiative will be to become a "global news brand for the voice of India".


Jio TV, Reliance Jio's Over-The- Top (OTT) app, now offers 432 c h a n n e l s across 15 languages.

These include 139 news channels, 8 business news channels, 100 entertainment channels, 38 movie channels, 34 music channels, 20 sports channels, 27 infotainment channels, 23 kid's channels, 12 lifestyle channels and 31 devotional channels.

Besides live TV channels, Jio TV is the exclusive digital partner for Star India's Hotstar premium service.


The Wireless Broadband Alliance has asked the government to release unlicensed airwaves for WiFi hotspots.

"Unlicensed spectrum should be released as per the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendation and telcos should forge right kind of partnerships with Smart City providers, senior director at Wireless Broadband Alliance Paramjit Singh Puri said.

Puri believes that Wi-Fi networks are critical to provide widespread digital connectivity in India.

In 2016, India ranked a distant 138 in broadband connectivity, on the global index.


TRAI Chairman has called for the need for 'broadband labelling'. Such labelling will provide complete information disclosure by the broadband providers on Quality of Service, in a standard format, to consumers. This may result in safeguarding consumers from misleading advertisements, unfair contractual terms, practice of non-disclosures and most importantly, help them choose between services


The UK's regulator Ofcom says UK broadband providers such as BT, Vodafone and TalkTalk "dominate the list of worst-rated companies for customer service."

Many broadband companies had deliberately downgraded their maintenance service response time to 2 days instead of 1 day.

Ofcom's data revealed 17 Mbps subscribers only received an average of 9.8 Mbps.

In November 2016, 9% of Virgin Media's "up to 50Mb" package and 6% of its "up to 100Mb" package received average speeds of less than 10 Mbps between 8pm and 10pm.

BT took on average 2.51 minutes to connect to an operator. Its Plusnet subsidiary took 7 minutes and 27 seconds to take a customer's call.


MSO Ortel Communications is expanding its fiber-based Internet service. On the highend, it offers a 100 Mbps connection with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) of 1 TB for Rs. 4,999 per month. Minimum speed is now 1 Mbps.

Ortel now offers new plans starting at Rs. 299 for 2 MBps download speed. FUP ranges from 10 GB to 200 GB.

Currently, Ortel offers broadband in 16 cities, spread over 5 states: Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Ortel also offers Cable TV, VoIP and leased line services. The company also offers public WiFi services.


According to a BCG-TiE report 'The USD 250 Billion Digital Volcano: Dormant No More', India's Internet economy is expected to grow from USD 100 to 130 billion today (about 5% of GDP) to USD 215 to 265 billion (7.5% GDP) by 2020.

E-commerce and financial services is expected to comprise USD 40-50 billion, e-commerce products USD 45-50 billion and digital media and advertising at USD 5-8 billion, the report added.

A major chunk of this is expected to come from private and government infrastructure spending (USD 50-60 billion), followed by that on connectivity (USD 45-55 billion) and devices (USD 30-40 billion).

With about 391 million users, India has already become the second largest country in terms of mobile Internet users. This is expected to grow rapidly to about 650 million mobile Internet users by 2020.

Data consumption by 2020 could increase 10 to 14 times, to an average monthly data consumption of 7 to 10 GB per user, by 2020.

By 2020, high speed Internet will increase time spent online by 300% to 400%.


According to press reports, the government has stepped up its drive to book and prosecute unlicensed broadband distribution.

Distribution of broadband requires an ISP licence. Besides the initial licence fee, an ISP is also required to pay 8% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) every 3 months to the government.

As a result, some networks operate without obtaining an ISP license. They also do not maintain records of the internet activity of heir consumers. This presents a risk to national security, by providing un-recorded usage by terrorists.

In April, the government raided several small broadband service providers in Noida and NCR.

Similar raids are likely to be conducted in other parts of the country as well.


State-run Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) has launched a mobile app enabling consumers to pay their monthly subscription fee.

The mobile app was launched by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.


Amazon has launched its internet streaming device, Fire TV Stick, in the Indian market, at Rs. 3,999. Keeping in mind India's issues with data and connectivity, the company has made Fire Stick customised especially for this country. In the US, it is priced at $39 (approx. Rs. 1,999) Fire Stick TV runs a MediaTek Quad-core processor @ 1.3GHz, 1GB RAM and Mali450 graphics. There is 8GB internal storage, used for apps and caching data. It will deliver 720p and 1080p streaming HD video. it plugs into any TV's HDMI input.

The Fire TV Stick will receive content from Amazon's video service Prime Video that rivals Netflix and YouTube, as well as Indian players such as Hotstar, Voot, Eros and Airtel Movies.

Airtel offers Fire TV customers 35 MB free high speed data each month, for 3 months, via Airtel broadband/Airtel 4G Home Wi-Fi. n