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April 7, 2008

Boosting rural broadband

INTERNATIONAL – Getting broadband into remote rural locations is no easy task. Aside from the cost, the logistics can make solutions incredibly difficult to implement.

Now though, there’s a solution that’ll see 25,000 Indian villages get access to the Internet.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam  Ltd (BSNL) – India’s largest telco – are working to expand Internet access across India.  Using technology developed  by NSN, the telco will deliver access speeds up to 8Mbps. Financial reports

“India today has 3.4 mln broad connections, of which 1.7 mln connections are provided by BSNL alone. With the expansion of broadband density in urban and rural areas using ADSL2+ technology, BSNL plans to cover more than 25000 villages broadband enabled shortly.”

NSN has also developed a new Internet Kiosk aimed at emerging markets as part of its Village Connection offering. The kiosk brings voice, SMS and Internet access to rural locations, easily and cheaply.

“In many cases, the Nokia Siemens Networks Village Connection is the only way to access voice, mobility and the Internet. With the Village Connection, users are able to communicate across geographic boundaries and access information for better business and social opportunities.”

The service is already being rolled across South Africa where a number of Village Connection services are already in place. The new Internet Kiosks are viable as they use existing technology. reports

“The biggest benefit to operators is that the Internet kiosk enables them to provide Internet access easily and cost-effectively for rural villages, benefiting from the existing IP backhaul of the village connection solution,” Rauno Granath, head of new growth markets at Nokia Siemens Networks, told the IDG News Service on Thursday.

We’ll be bringing you more on this as the services roll out.