INDIAN NATIONAL INTERNET REGISTRY
INDIAN NATIONAL INTERNET REGISTRY
In March 2010, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) authorised India to appoint an agency to issue IP addresses in India through a National Internet Registry. Indian companies and Internet service providers will now be able get their IP addresses from the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), which manages the .IN domain registry in India.
- Until now, anyone wanting to get an IP addresses in India had to apply to APNIC. Globally, IP addresses are controlled by the US-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The process of applying for an IP address through APNIC is often time consuming and expensive. Therefore, most entities in India do not own their own IP addresses and simply take whatever their bandwidth provider allocates. A local National Internet Registry will enable local entities to get IP addresses faster and at a fraction of the earlier cost.
- The National Internet Registry will enable Indian companies to get their own IP address that they can keep even if they change their bandwidth providers. Registry is likely to impact positively on the costs incurred by the ISP’s in operationalisation of their Internet infrastructure.
- The NIR is also likely to aid policy making by giving an overall perspective of India’s requirements, use and demand of IP addresses. It can help in streamlining the allocation of the IP address pool of India as per the demands and policies of the nation. Support services could be provided in Hindi too. With the help of the Government or industry, many IP blocks could be subsidised to help to proliferate server hosting.
- One of the biggest advantages of having the NIR is that it will be of high value for the law enforcement agencies in India. Whenever a cyber crime is committed, it is traced with the help of IP addresses.
NATIONAL INTERNET EXCHANGE OF INDIA (NIXI)
INTERNET EXCHANGE: An Internet Exchange (IX) or Internet Exchange Point is a physical infrastructure through which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) exchange Internet traffic between their networks. The primary purpose of an IX is to allow ISP networks to interconnect directly, via the exchange, rather than through one or more 3rd party networks. The advantages of the direct interconnection are numerous but the primary reasons are reduced cost of delivery and increased speed.
NIXI: The National Internet Exchange of India is the neutral meeting point of the ISPs in India. Its main purpose is to facilitate exchange of domestic internet traffic in India between the member ISPs. This enables more efficient use of international bandwidth, increased speed and reduced band with cost. It improves the Quality of Services for the customers of member ISPs, by avoiding multiple international hops and thus reducing time and increasing speed. NIXI currently has seven Internet Exchange nodes operational at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Noida, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mohali. NIXI is registered as a not for profit Organization. It is managed and operated on a neutral basis. Since 2005, NIXI also managed the IN Registry.
NATIONAL OPTICAL FIBRE NETWORK (NOFN)
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is a central scheme for providing broadband connectivity to panchayats at an initial cost of over Rs.20,000 crore, which will help in offering governance, banking and health services online.
The project aims to extend the existing optical fibre network, which is available up to district and block levels, to the gram panchayat level, by utilising Rs.20,000 crore from the Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund. A similar amount of investment is likely to be made by the private sector complementing the NOFN infrastructure while providing services to individual users. As per a study conducted by the World Bank, with every 10 % increase in broadband penetration, there is a 1.4 % increase in GDP growth.
The NOFN is likely to be completed in the next two years. It will also facilitate implementation of various e-governance initiatives such as e-health, e-banking and e-education, thereby facilitating inclusive growth. Initially, the broadband project would be executed by the state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and other institutions such as RailTel, Power Grid and the Gas Authority of India (GAIL). For the implementation and execution, the Cabinet has approved the formation of a special purpose vehicle with equity from the Government of India.
RURAL IT INITIATIVES
Information Technology (IT) has made deep inroads into almost all facets of human behaviour. It has influenced the lives of people in innumerable areas such as business, education, scientific research, governance and several other aspects of socio-cultural life. In India too, IT has contributed significantly to the economy in terms of revenue generated through software exports and employment generation. IT has also been contributing significantly to rural development.
SOME RURAL IT INITIATIVES:
In India, several initiatives have been taken with IT providing a helping hand to people in rural areas in myriad ways. Some of the initiatives are:
- Akshaya project
- Computerization of land records
- Common Service Centres
- Computerization of TPDS
- Web-based social audit in NREGA
- Wired Village concept
- E-Sagu: An IT-based personalized agricultural advisory system that was developed as a collaboration between the International Institute of Information Technology (HIT), Hyderabad, and Media Labs Asia, that provides valuable information to farmers about crops, pesticides and fertilizers.
- E-choupal: An initiative of ITC Limited to link directly with rural farmers via the Internet for procurement of agricultural and aquaculture products like soybeans, wheat, coffee, and prawns. Under this project, village Internet kiosks are being established and are being managed by farmers who are designated as “sanchalaks.” These sanchalaks help farmers in accessing information in their local knowledge on weather and market prices.
- Akshaya Project: An initiative of the Government of Kerala in which Internet access points are being created to provide information to farmers about crops and market. The objective is to bridge the digital divide by providing community access to computers and Internet.
- Computerization of land records: It is another area where IT has helped in timely and accurate issuance of Record of Rights (RoR) to land owners. The data about land ownership is stored in digital format, which enables fast and efficient retrieval of information. The first centrally sponsored scheme on computerization of land records was launched in 1988-89. In 1993-94, the National Informatics Centre was involved by the Ministry of Rural Development to help in sustaining the effort.
- Common Service Centres: The CSC is an important constituent of the National e-Governance Plan to introduce e-governance on a massive scale by establishing Common Service Centres across the country covering 6 lakh villages. The Centres are aimed at providing services in the areas of e-governance, education, health, telemedicine and entertainment through the Internet.
- Computerization of TPDS: An aspect where IT has been playing a positive role is in improving accessibility and availability of government services to people in rural areas. To prevent diversion and leakage in the Targetted Public Distribution System (TPDS), some state governments have decided to use IT through computerization of the total food grain supply chain.
- Gyandoot: A community-owned, self-sustainable and low-cost rural Intranet project launched by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 2000 to give villagers access to several services such as various certificates, forms, employment news, public grievance redressal etc.
- Lokmitra: The LokMitra (meaning “peoples’ friend”) is an e-governance initiated by the Government of Himachal Pradesh in 2001.
- Agmark-Net: The Agricultural Marketing Information Network, has been launched by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure speedy collection and dissemination of agricultural market data for efficient and timely use. It networks about 7000 wholesale agricultural produce markets in the country.
CHALLENGES: As per surveys conducted by INTOSAI (a professional audit organization) in developing countries, only 15 % initiatives were termed as successful. The rest were either partial failures where major goals of the initiatives were not attained or were total failures.
The main challenges for bringing IT to rural areas for development are:
- Lack of adequate skills to operate computers and related systems. This can be overcome by providing basic skills and by using more user-friendly interfaces.
- IT-related systems are not easy to implement. They are costly, complex and difficult to maintain.
- Cost of IT infrastructure. Developing low cost solutions or promotion of open source software can play an important role here.
- Continuous resistance from stakeholders who might be adversely affected by the introduction of transparency is another reason.
- Confusion about legal sanctity attached to documents generated through computers.
- Inadequate contact between coordinator of the kiosks and information centres and end users is another challenge.
WiMAX VERSUS ‘C’ BAND
THE present communication revolution is in the nature of a race from wire to unwire medium. This has led to a significant shift in the area of broadcasting and communication. In this decade, we witnessed widespread growth in the area of terrestrial wireless services (Mobile Communication), particularly in India and China. The upgradation in terms of speed and range of these services would lead to significant interference with ‘C’ band satellite communication services because WiMAX wireless services being developed lately are using the same frequency spectrum as allotted to C band satellite link. Satellite link providers would encounter this interference after implementation of WiMAX technology by terrestrial telecommunication operators.
The radio frequency spectrum is a limited natural resource and is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum extending up to approximately 3000 GHz. ‘C’ Band is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the microwave range of frequency. Theoretically the band extends from 4 to 8 GHz. It was the first frequency band allocated for commercial ground to satellite communication and vice versa.
‘C’ Band Variants Used Around the World
Band Tx- frequency Rx- frequency
Extended ‘C’ Band 5.850-6.425 GHz 3.625-4.200 GHz
Super Extended C-Band 5.850-6.725 GHz 3.400-4.200 GHz
INSAT C-Band 6.725-7.025 GHz 4.500-4.800 GHz
Russian ‘C’-Band 5.975-6.475 GHz 3.700-4.000 GHz
Palpa ‘C’-Band 6.425-6.725 GHz 6.425-6.700 GHz
A typical ‘C’ band satellite uses 3.7- 4.2 GHz for downlink and 5.925 to 6.425 for uplink. ‘C’ band is primarily used for open satellite communication and is highly associated with satellite reception systems. There are slight variations in the ‘C’ band frequency and these are approved by ITU for usage in different parts of the world.
Why ‘C Band?
The ‘C’ band is the most popular RF spectrum for terrestrial and satellite communication. This band offers several advantages to communication links such as:
- Less rain fade
- Less atmospheric attenuation
- Wider coverage area, and
- Small antenna (approximately. 2.5 to 3.5 meter, dia).
The ‘C’ band spectrum is extensively used in satellite communication links because it provides several advantages to the links such as:
Many satellites available across the world having ‘C’ band transponder
Receivers available as off-the-shelf items
Well established and inexpensive technology
‘C’ band satellites have wide coverage area across the globe so that it has capability to provide service in remote locations and sparsely populated areas.
Why WiMAX and Broadband?
With the world becoming more and more mobile consumers are demanding real-time conversation (Mobile and Video broadcasting) for their business and entertainment purposes. This requirement can be fulfilled by very high capacity digital networks having sufficient bandwidth allocation. This is what WiMAX and Broadband communication seek to provide.
WiMAX stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. It is not a technology but rather a certification mark given to the equipment that meets certain conformity and interoperability tests for IEEE 802.16 family of standards. Similarly the term Wi-Fi is also a certification mark for equipments that meet IEEE 802.11 standard. Neither WiMAX nor Wi-Fi is a technology but their names have been adopted in popular usage to denote the technologies behind them.
Parameters WiMAX Wi-Fi Bluetooth
Frequency 2-3.8 GHz 2.4 GHz Varies
Range = 31 miles =100 m. =10 meters
Data transfer rate 70 mbps 11 to 55 mbps 20 to 55 mbps
Numbers of users 1000s > 10s > 10s
WiMAX basically supports point to multi point broadband wireless access. In this topology, a base station is connected to several public networks. These public networks are fixed subscriber stations, which can be mounted on rooftops. These subscriber stations will allocate uplink and downlink bandwidth to the subscribers as per their individual requirements. The development of WiMAX came about as a complement to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies. The characteristics of these technologies are summarized in the table below.
According to the communication theory, one can have either high bandwidth or long range, but not both simultaneously. However, as can be seen from the above table, one can get fairly long distance with high data rate using WiMAX technology equipments. In practical, using WiMAX technology a subscriber can get symmetrical speed of 10 mbps at 10 km in Line of Sight (LOS) environment.
WiMAX technology offers the following advantages to terrestrial communication providers:
Very high speed
- Fairly long distance for communication
- WiMAX changes the last mile problem for broadband in the same way as Wi-Fi has changed the last hundred feet of networking
- Available bandwidth is shared between the users
- Subscriber stations are small and can be mounted on rooftops
- The data is transmitted over air, thus reducing cabling cost.
Threat for ‘C Band Satellite Communication
‘C’ band RF frequency (standard ‘C’ band and extended ‘C’ band) was the first frequency band allocated for commercial satellite communication. According to literature, there are more than 160 geostationary satellites orbiting around the globe and operating in ‘O band. Two out of three satellites being manufactured by companies use the ‘C’ band spectrum. In India, and throughout the world itself, most of the essential services like TV transmission, distance learning programmes by universities, national Doordarshan (DDI and DD2) network and disaster recovery etc. are provided through ‘C’ band satellite link.
The development and usage of broadband wireless communication and WiMAX in extended ‘C’ band frequencies from 3.4 GHz to 3.7 GHz will provide significant interference for ‘C’ band satellite link. Several national administrations have designated portions of the frequency band 3.4 to 4.2 GHz for terrestrial wireless applications such as broadband wireless access (BWA) and future mobile service for 3G and 4G systems.
A satellite in the geostationary orbit of the earth (36000 km above the earth) broadcasts a few watts of microwave signal over a wide footprint area. The broadcast signal gets attenuated by approximately 200 dB and becomes very weak at the stationary reception centres on the earth. This weak signal has to be amplified by means of sophisticated electronics for healthy signal reproduction. It is important to ensure that the amplifications do not contribute any significant amount of noise amplification; otherwise it degrades the signal of interest. Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) and Low Noise Block Converter (LNBC) are used for amplification and reproduction of weak signals.
Contrary to this, in terrestrial wireless communication, both the transmitter and receiver are mobile. The base station used in terrestrial mobile communication broadcasts signals in all directions simultaneously. This transmitted signal has high power. The signal transmitted is so powerful that it has capability of saturating ‘C’ band satellite receiving systems. That is, Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) and Low Noise Block Converter (LNBC) are saturated by high power signals (having same frequency). The probability of saturation of LNA and LNBC is nearly 100 % due to their inherent characteristics. Saturation of receiving system will lead to total collapse of the ‘C’ band satellite network services.
Implications of WiMAX for India
The development and implementation of GSM/CDMA-based mobile communication services is taking place in India at a fast pace. However, in order to meet the vision 2020 objectives, development and implementation of the next-generation broadband wireless services (WiMAX and Wi-Fi) is imperative. WiMAX and Wi-Fi would provide solutions for high-speed communication requirements of videoconferencing, mobile TV and interactive distance learning programmes. WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies have the capability of pan- India presence riding on the advantage of powerful signal transmission and long distance coverage without much distortion and degradation of signal.
However, the implementation of WiMAX creates significant interference with the services offered by C band satellite link (TV transmission, disaster recovery etc.). There is, therefore, an imperative requirement that the issue is addressed by the Telecom Regularity Authority of India and simultaneously possible ways for implementation of WiMAX technology in India is explored.