Trai Mulls Using Cable TV Network to Increase Data Connectivity

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Trai Mulls Using Cable TV Network to Increase Data Connectivity
Aiming to provide better data connectivity to people, India's telecom watchdog said on Tuesday it is planning to use cable television network in a bigger way to provide connectivity to people.

"Can we use cable TV network to provide connectivity to people? In India there are 100 million homes with cable televisions. If all these 100 million connections can be converted into cable TV pipes, they can deliver 10 megabit per second," said Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma at the 10th India Digital Summit organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

"We have made recommendations to the government on that. We are working with the department of telecommunications," he said, adding: "Providing connectivity access to our people is extremely important."

In August last year, Microsoft announced it will be working with the Andhra Pradesh government on its TV White Spaces Project, a technology that uses unused TV spectrum to deliver low-cost Internet connectivity.

Microsoft, DoT, DeitY and ERNET are working with the government of Andhra Pradesh in a first-of-its-kind pilot with four educational institutions in the district of Srikakulam, with Z. P. High School at Voppangi as the base station, the other three campuses as receivers, located at a distances of 10 kilometres or more from the base station.

TV White Spaces technology utilises the unused space in terrestrial TV spectrum to provide cheap Internet connectivity to remote areas. Unlike Wi-Fi that propagates to a 100-metre radius, TV White Spaces propagate the signal to a radius of 10 kilometres or more, the company said. Microsoft has previously conducted this project on a pilot basis in Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Singapore.

Meanwhile, in October, Bengaluru-based Saankhya Labs launched a last mile connectivity solution called Meghdoot, that uses TV white spaces to offer last mile connectivity.

Written with inputs from IANS

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