"Affordable broadband connectivity, services and applications are essential to modern society, offering widely recognised social and economic benefits. Nowhere is the impact of broadband more important and critical than in the developing countries," the statement said.
The consultation paper is titled "Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?"
The paper said: "Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Unified Access Service Licensees (UASLs) and Cellular Mobile Service Providers (CMSPs) are permitted to provide broadband access under the existing licensing framework. (A total of) 60.87 million subscribers for March 2014 have been reported by 121 operators."
It said the top 10 service providers account for about 97 percent of subscriber base and the top five service providers alone hold 83 percent market share. State-owned companies like BSNL and MTNL together have about 74.9 percent market share for wireline broadband and 30.5 percent for overall broadband subscriptions.
"This suggests that despite having a licence for providing broadband services, the majority of the service providers are either unwilling or unable to penetrate into the market and the market is still dominated by a few players only."
On broadband tariff pattern, it said: "Although broadband penetration is low in India, the entry level tariff for broadband services has come down drastically from Rs. 1,500 per month in 2004 to around Rs. 500 a month in 2014.
"Most service providers charge a monthly rental between Rs. 200 to Rs. 1600 for a broadband connection and providing various packages for data transfer. Most service providers provide unlimited download 4 packages. Unlimited broadband plans are on offer for Rs. 549 per month."