This was being actively discussed in the forums; whether or not should be petition TRAI for revision of definition of Broadband speeds.
Much like the classical “chicken and egg problem”, it is difficult to build up a case for higher speeds than current 256k. The biggest problem is that there is no built up ecosystem that could possibly sustain the need for content; higher speeds are not going to solve any problem.
For the same reason, the latency to access the game servers is horrendous. As I am told, it is timed in hundreds of milliseconds; which only means that local cache or game servers need to be set up within India to host the massive online multi player games.
However, higher speeds have no meaning for the gentle folk whose sole purpose is to check email or talk. Video Chats would be jittery, but those blue button hitting morons (who abound in abundance on the face of this earth) would hardly notice. I have personally seen people signing up for GPRS access just because their mobile supports that! Beyond that, their access is limited to chatting.
What can you do with higher speeds? Watch videos online? Anything else? File sharing? That is akin to shuffing up a chilli laden object up their backsides. Hence, they would only seek to block you actively. VoIP is good enough in 256k.
Hence, there has to be a strong case for MbPs. The demand has to be created by localised content developers. All this boils down to a very small installed computer base which would make it useless to invest money; something that is not guranteed to bring in the revenues in the short/ long term.
We could blame the PR spin and gibberish spouting from the telecom companies when they hold expensive campaigns and press conferences to crow about the ” in thing”. IPTV is an alien concept and has not been tested as yet on a large scale. Or the scale that Reliance has been talking all about.
This brings us to another question. Which is more important? Content or Distribution? Distribution is far more powerful; witness the near monopoly of your local cable operator and you’d know. They cannot be reined in and mafia money is invested heavily. In the tug of war between the content creators and distributors, it is the consumer who is forced to cough up huge sums and pay for the “paid channel” with ads screaming in full glory.
This is the reason why the majors have invested money in distribution. Zee has Dish TV and their Sity Cable; Star has it’s Hathway and to- be- launched DTH. Reliance has invested/ investing in it’s IPTV and DTH- Bluemagic.
Broadband or higher speeds could radically alter the contours of the content. In my opinion, the next progression would be towards the so called triple play. However, the current last mile access hassles means that laying down optic fibre cable would be an expensive proposition.
Unwittingly, we need to depend on BSNL to make any first move. Given it’s sloth that could shame a herniated tortoise, it can’t be expected in the near future.
Hence, I can only foresee being stuck in the 256k gamble with a awful capped upload, to be the order of the day. We could only swallow the insults they heap on whatever little intelligence we have.