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Many things that pandemic taught will become permanent: TRAI chief

TRAI chairman RS Sharma on Friday said that many things like the role of technology that the coronavirus pandemic has taught the country will become permanent. Sharma said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will look at all the regulations with a new perspective. “I feel that what this crisis has taught us, will become permanent in this country which will be actually good for us. I believe digital transaction is always better because it is cost-effective, environment-friendly, instantaneous, frugal and last but not the least it is contactless,” Sharma said in a virtual conference organized by think tank body Broadband India Forum.

He said in the last few days people relied upon and used information and communication technology more than physical infrastructure like rail, road and air transport for carrying out their work. “We have to live in a world which will facilitate socializing and economic growth with minimal human contact. A digital future lies ahead. Connectivity is going to become one of important requirements for our existence in some sense,” Sharma said.

He said that broadband will become a fundamental human right and it will be difficult to imagine life without broadband connectivity. “Work from home has become a norm and it will continue as a norm in the foreseeable time to come. We are going to see telemedicine, e-commerce. Schools have started teaching students from home. That is going to become very very prevalent,” Sharma said. The TRAI chairman called for investment to boost fixed-line broadband to make connectivity sustainable to support work from home, education, etc.

“While we have done great work on mobile we still have a lot of work to do in the area of fixed-line in infrastructure. It is fixed-line broadband which will provide reliable connectivity and sustain load of video. Video is going to become very prominent. Every application for work from home, tele-education,” Sharma said. The Department of Telecom Joint secretary Hari Ranjan Rao said that the government is going to put in place a national optic fibre map to help investors decide where they would like to invest and build capacities.


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