The emergence of broadband networks - both wireline and wireless - has assisted in fostering the applications and content development, and provided content and application providers with a huge and growing addressable market with very low barriers to entry. However, there is always a tension between end-user connectivity providers and CAPs on the nuances of net neutrality, the principle that content consumed should be decided by the end-user without any distortion by the connectivity provider.

The Common Service Centre scheme aims to establish nearly three lakh rural internet kiosks across India. A recent evaluation study, however, found poor demand among users and delayed roll-out of government-to-consumer services, causing losses and attrition among private operators of the scheme. There is space, therefore, for greater engineering of public good outcomes by tying financial incentives to computer education goals.

WHILE the installation of towers earmarked under phase I of the Universal Service Organisation (USO) rural infrastructure scheme is moving toward completion, the quality of connectivity and uptake of services through these towers have so far been poor.