Title: Providing rural connectivity infrastructure: ICT diffusion through private sector participation

Authors: Ajay Narayanan, Akshay Jain, B. Bowonder

Addresses: ITC Centre, 3rd Floor, 760 Anna Salai, Chennai 600 002, India. ' Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology, 26, Gulmohar Extension, Indore 452 001, Madhya Pradesh, India. ' Tata Management Training Centre, No. 1, Mangaldas Road, Pune 411 001, India

Abstract: India is a vast country and traditionally has been an agrarian economy. Nearly 70% of India|s population still resides in the villages. The penetration level of the new telecommunication tools is low in the rural areas as compared to the urban sector. New technologies and information and communications technology (ICT) platforms are evolving, featuring collaboration between the development agencies, academia and the local government. This case study analyses how the technology incubated in the labs of IIT-Madras was transferred to the rural areas. Factors responsible for the success are cost effectiveness of technology, provision of value-added services, commitment from the governmental authorities and entrepreneurial orientation. Such initiatives, along with private participation, help in bridging the technological divide and creating an opportunity for divide convergence.

Keywords: ICT platforms; rural connectivity; ICT diffusion; private sector participation; information technology; communications; India; developing countries; rural population; telecommunications; technology transfer; collaboration; development agencies; academia; universities; local government; new technologies; internet connectivity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2005.007418

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2005 Vol.6 No.3/4/5, pp.416 - 436

Available online: 18 Jul 2005 *

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