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July 8, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:41pm

INDIA WAIVES ISP LICENSE FEES TO BROADEN INTERNET ACCESS

By CBR Staff Writer

The Indian government is trying to jump-start the growth of the internet in the world’s largest democracy by waiving internet access providers license fees for two years, provided they go through the state-run telecommunications company, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s, gateway. There are currently just two providers in India, VSNL and the Department of Electronics not-for-profit education and Research Network (ERNET). Both have just 40,000 subscribers each. The government said it will not limit the number of service providers, and says it would probably cost about 1m rupees ($28,000) for the infrastructure to connect 100 users. At the moment, connection through VSNL costs $0.87 per hour, but the government predicted yesterday that would fall to about $14 per month for unlimited use once the market is opened up to competition. India has a fast-growing software development market, and many of the largest computer companies have already invested there. The country has its own Silicon Valley, called Electronics City, just south of Bangalore.

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