BG Mahesh | Mahesh | mahesh.com

India needs a Minister For Internet

The most common ‘grouse’ you hear from VCs or internet entrepreneurs is – when will the govt push for internet penetration?

The Govt of India did the correct thing by having a portfolio for IT and Telecom. While I think IT and Telecom are completely different and they ought to have separate ministries it is better than not having anything at all. But then I seem to be recommending to increase the size of the already bloated cabinet size! Me bad!

Today I was with a private Telco which has done a great job in providing broadband in India. Few things I learnt from him,

Broadband cables of telcos in Bengaluru

There is too much red tape from State governments when it comes to providing last time connectivity (they don’t give you permission to dig roads very easily).

For the next 5 years, the govt should have a ‘Minister For Internet’ or at least a ‘Minister of State – Internet’.

How can a Minister of Internet help?

Since this ministry’s job will be only to increase the connectivity in India, I am sure the connections will increase dramatically. By having a lot more internet users,

We need someone to head this effort who actually appreciates the internet space. We don’t need a minister who will insist on having his or her statue being installed on each junction box! That would be a nightmare.

We don’t want the govt to help us with the internet business directly. Help us by just increasing the penetration, the rest, please leave it to the internet companies, they will figure it out.

If the govt does appoint one, we dotcom geeks can finally say “Yes Minister!