Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS International) with support from Ford Foundation, India had organised a Seminar on “Resolving Access and Quality Constraints in Broadband Services: Consumer Organizations Need to Come Forward” on Monday, 9th December 13, 2013 in New Delhi.
The purpose of the seminar was to focus on the key issues related to accessibility and quality of broadband services in India. As internet services in India are still at a primary stage and where one of the key challenges is to make services accessible and affordable, while maintaining quality standards for the consumers.
Given this, there is a need for a medium to act as a facilitator for voicing concerns of and devising solutions for the consumers. This purpose can be best solved by the voice of the unheard – the civil society. Thus, the civil society needs to brace up for an extensive drive to assure that the issues pertaining to internet access and quality are identified and addressed. However, even the capacity of these CSO’s needs to be enhanced in order to achieve the desired results because as of now, there limited discourse among CSO’s on the issue of accessibility and quality of internet services. Given the above, CUTS organised the Seminar to discuss with relevant experts, practioners, CSO representatives, etc the following key issues and determine relevant areas for further research and capacity building of CSOs:
- What is the level of political openness in our country or region towards public dialogue on broadband services policies?
- Can consumers and other stakeholders participate in policy decisions about Internet connectivity and broadband issues?
- What are the key challenges in terms of providing affordable and quality broadband services in India?
- Are there quality standards which are being followed by the Industry players? Are these standards in terms with international standards?
- Quality of service and access to broadband services in India– Hemant Upadhyay
- Actions taken by Consumer Organisations and its impact on Industry– M Thimma Reddy
- Broadband Services – Gaps/Challenges to be addressed and actions taken by Consumer Organizations – S. Saroja