first day of the IAMAI India Digital Summit 2008 held here on Thursday, the focus seemed to be on the ground realities facing the Internet growth story in the country. In his welcome address, IAMAI's chairman and chief executive officer of the Consim Info Group, J Murugavel, said, "We need to reach a critical mass of at least 10 million broadband users to enable rich media content on the Internet."
Reading out an in absentia speech on behalf of communications and IT minister A Raja, Dr Govind, senior director, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT, said, "The Department of Information Technology is now ready to take up the issue of Internet penetration. There is a need to build local language content and a robust infrastructure. To make non-users aware of Internet usage, the government will undertake measures such as Internet awareness campaigns in schools and workshops in small towns."
Sundararajan pointed out that the key issues which need to be addressed are sustaining the GDP growth of 10 per cent and making that growth inclusive of the population. "We have had our roadblocks with spectrum allocation," she said, referring to the slow growth of broadband in the country.
Sundararajan agreed, adding, "Once you build an access network, there is a thin layer of services available to go with it."
Sivakumar added that utility is important in terms of content. "That's the reason for the growth of mobiles. They give you information which is useful to you."