[Assam] Broadband in Guwahati
cmahanta at gmail.com
Fri Apr 2 01:49:43 IST 2010
On Apr 1, 2010, at 3:01 PM, Krishnendu Chakraborty wrote:
> There are couple of fallacies here --
> First is to equate $2000 to Rs 2000 or $15 to Rs15. That is
> simply not true .
*** I wouldn't argue that. Obviously I was oversimplifying. But it
does have parallels, in many instances.
Compared to what an average man earns in the USA vs. one in India,
many items of essential goods
and services, particularly in the most affluent Indian metros, would
place the rupee at par with the dollar.
It is in that context I cited the cost of wireless internet ( not cell-
phone service) as highly unaffordable
to the average iNdian. I agree cell phone service has indeed become
not only widely available, of reasonable
quality and affordable to the average man on the street.
Now if one can say the same thing of housing, a decent education,
medical care, food, transportation and so forth,
then one can rightfully claim that the life of an average Indian has
indeed improved demonstrably to an acceptable
level, considering its human and other resources.
> There are number of other parameters. For example, a successful
> architect might be earning $200K per year in US but the same
> architect will make Rs20,00,000 pa in India. The figures are random
> but the bottomline is $1=Rs1 equation does not work.
> Second, wireless communication does not mean wireless internet
> alone. That is a very new creature. Wireless communication
> largely is Cell Phone Services and yes, a Daily wage earner can
> and do afford to have a Cell Phone in India. In India, the plumber
> who works in your house, the maid, the chaiwalla everybody has a
> cell phone. I will not be surprised if the beggars of some posh
> locations have cell phones.
> Any new technology is expensive -- everywhere. think about the Core
> 2 duo laptop with windows Vista and 4 GB RAM which you purchased 2
> years back for over a thousand USD ... you will get that for less
> then half the price today.
> Wireless internet is expensive now because it is new and does not
> have the mass base yet. Give another 1 - 2 year and prices will
> head south. Wireless technology is significantly more affordable
> and advanced in India then in US . The bonus is , you are not tied
> up by Contracts etc. and free to hop if you are not satisfied with
> the service.
> A lot of credit for this goes to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory body).
> While wi fi hotspots are available in many locations in US, it is
> limited to designated areas only. I agree this might be a reason
> why wireless internet has not been popular in US but I believe
> there is another strong reason --- the cost and the contractual
> obligation associated. Wireless technology is way too expensive in
> I am not into denying everything good for India :-).
> I do know that USA lags behind international cell-phone technology as
> well as other public
> wireless communication advances.
> India's appalling lack of hardwired communication systems that held it
> back in the stone-age
> forced it to open up wireless technologies. And by opening up the
> international market it
> could tap into the advances that many advanced countries have not yet
> been able to
> enter into. That is USA's problem right now. They are married to an
> almost obsolete system, but can't
> abandon everything and flock to the newest.
> Tata Photon was very helpful . And paying in dollars it is also very
> affordable. But if you were a
> wage earner in Assam or Delhi or Madhya Pradesh, do you think Rs.
> 2,550 for a connection
> is affordable? Would you, a professional man with advanced skills,
> consider one in the USA
> if it cost $ 2,000 or even $ 500? Sure, those living in B'lore or
> Gurgaon, drawing wages similar to developed
> countries it is no issue. But can a school-teacher, or a college
> professor or a rural shopkeeper
> or even a well-to-do Punjab farmer can consider it affordable?
> I think the fact that we have WiFi available everywhere, the plug-and-
> play USB Wireless devices
> are not popular here. One can easily get much better access to far
> greater bandwidth and speeds for
> free or at airports and the like for Rs.15/day -- I mean $ 15/day :-).
> That is the difference.
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