Consumer rights activists and industry analysts attending a seminar on "Information Disclosure on Broadband Services " organised by CUTS INTERNATIONAL in Kolkata on May 16, 2018. Photo: Subir Bhaumik
The promise of developing a vibrant IT industry around India’s third internet gateway in Northeast has not materialised, consumer rights activists and industry analysts said on Wednesday in Kolkata.
Speaking to  Northeast Now during a seminar on ” Information Disclosure on Broadband Services ” organised by CUTS INTERNATIONAL in Kolkata, several of them complained about the slow internet speed in the northeast despite two years having elapsed since the gateway was commissioned at Agartala.
Syed Kazi, president, Northeast ICT Association
India is purchasing surplus bandwidth from Bangladesh to boost internet quality in the country’s northeast . Agartala , capital of Tripura, is the gateway, the country’s third after Mumbai and Chennai.
“The promise of the internet gateway has not materialised in the Northeast. Net speed in the region is still very poor and not conducive to the growth of IT industry in the region,” Syed Kazi, president, NORTHEAST ICT Association, said.
He blamed the BSNL and BBNL for the failure to appropriately synchronise the gateway connect.
“The government is spending a lot to strengthen the BSNL but it’s performance in developing the internet gateway effectively remains much to be desired,” Kazi told Northeast Now.
He urged the BSNL in the northeast to coordinate with all private and public stakeholders to make good the promise of the internet gateway.
“Or else this will be a national waste.”
CUTS policy analyst Rahul Singh said the internet gateway has remained “a mere political statement.”
“It is just a numbers game, the claim that we have a third gateway. It has not done anything to change the IT eco-system in northeast.  Even elsewhere in India, NET speed is poor,” Singh told Northeast Now.
He called for greater push by all stakeholders including service providers, industry and consumer groups to change the situation for the better

Subir Bhaumik

Subir Bhaumik is a Kolkata-based senior journalist. He can be reached at: sbhaum@gmail.com

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