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US to work with India on National Broadband Plan

The Hindu Business Line:  June, 2010

Hyderabad: The US has said that it would collaborate with India in evolving a National Broadband Plan.

“We have initiated talks through the ICT joint working group last week in New Delhi. We have fixed a time-bound schedule to discuss things. The two sides will soon identify points of contacts for one-to-one interactions,” Mr Philip L. Verveer, Ambassador (US Coordinator for International Communication and Information Policy), said.

“The ICT working group, which used to meet periodically, could not meet because of elections here and in the US.

“We have revived it last week and hope to follow it up six months later in December. These meetings would be held twice a year,” he told Business Line.

The group comprised top Government executives and representatives from businesses. “The Government set aside $7-billion announced as part of the stimulus package for creating awareness about the benefits of broadband usage and the US Congress asked the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to work for a national broadband plan. It came out with hundreds of recommendations.

“We can share the ideas on priorities and cost-effective methods with India which is also in the process of evolving its own plan,” he told Business Line here.

The group would also discuss other issues related to ICT.

He was here to take part in the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) World Telecom Development Conference being held here.


Stating that cyber security was of utmost importance to the US, he said his country was most vulnerable as it was the most connected country.

“An attack on one network is an attack on all networks. Attack on financial institutions and electrical networks could cause serious damage. Attaching a very high priority to this aspect, the US included three top security experts in its delegation to the ITU conference here,” he said.

The US would also help in providing the last mile and middle mile connectivity to the villages from the robust fibre optic network India established.

Obama visit

The US Ambassador said the upcoming Indo-US talks would focus on strategic issues in the geography, including the security and climate change.

Mr Barack Obama, the US President, is likely to visit India some time this year.