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Hitting the Nail on the Head

Getting Regulation Right Blog Aspect
Dr Archana Gulati
Published Feb 17, 2016
Updated Sep 01, 2023
It was a delight to read an article titled, “Net neutral, shift gears” It reiterates strongly the reasons why hard won net neutrality must be preserved and safeguarded from anti-competitive attempts to introduce divisions within the internet. Yet, it urges India to bridge the digital divide and connect every Indian immediately.
The only point where I disagree is the present idea/version of NOFN. I believe that universal broadband coverage can be achieved much faster and in a much more cost efficient manner by sticking to the original USOF concept of bidding out districts/states/regions in a technology neutral , competitive process that enables interested telecom operators to provide connectivity as defined by the Fund, with a limited smart subsidy.
The creation of a huge administrative set up by way of a megalithic government organisation and funding it from USOF ; expecting it to deliver any better than a monopolistic government department  in pre-liberalisation India, is in my view a wasteful, pipe dream. Please see my previous blogs on NOFN/BBNL.