Rediff Logo Infotech Banner Ads Find/Feedback/Site Index
                              | HEADLINES
December 4, 1997


Developing an Internet Infrastructure

R Vijay Shankar at Hotel Taj Palace

At the twin conferences happening here, the 'Net Track' session took up 'Developing an Internet infrastructure' as its first topic.

The speakers were Ashok Desai, managing director, SAARC region, Silicon Graphics Systems (India) Private Limited and Dr Dennis Packard, director,
Q&A: Sanjay Kumar
Jon DeVaan's keynote
The Net infrastructure
Q&A: Dr D Packard
PCs or NCs?
Sites and servers
The localisation issue
Asia Pacific-Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, Singapore.

Ashok Desai

Encouraging the use of Internet to promote the creation of the required infrastructure in India is a catch-22 situation, Desai pointed out. "Which comes first?" he asked.

The goals, according to Desai, are to integrate different societies through the Internet and it is important to develop our own Indian experience in this task so as to guarantee sustenance of the results.

Desai feels that among the issues to be addressed are the definition of 'quality' and 'availability of services' to ensure maximum uptime, good quality and low price.

Towards this end, faster decisions and a friendly telecom policy are a must, he warned. The long-term vision for the Internet should go much beyond technology and cover fields like education, literacy, tourism, women's welfare, counselling and hygiene. The infrastructure plans must take this into account, Desai said.

The "India Wide Web" must allow local languages to play a major role to enable a good reach and a multidimensional approach. Social, political, economic and business requirements are a serious consideration if we are to have an accessible quality Internet infrastructure in the country, Desai said.

Today, the virtual office is a reality with the use of Internet and this will offset many problems like traffic jams and pollution, he said.

But business over the Web essentially means that a good degree of privacy is ensured. Encryption and software required for electronic commerce are currently embargoed items from the United States. The way out, according to Desai, is that Indian companies develop their own encryption codes.

Dr Dennis Packard

Dr Dennis Packard elaborated on the role of Rockwell Systems, the dominant core technology supplier in the worldwide modems market. It is to enable better access to the Internet.

He pointed out that technology for that access is crucial to Internet infrastructure. Rockwell has made progress towards analogue and digital functionality on the same silicon chip, he claims.

Dr Packard is sure that the 56 KBPS modem is now pretty much the end of the line as far as analogue technology is concerned and for faster speeds, it will be necessary to shift to digital technologies. Dr Packard made a mention of the 'consumer digital subscriber loop', or CDSL, technology that Rockwell is currently working on.

CDSL will provide a solution to make it possible for the client to log in with a regular analogue modem and yet enjoy significantly faster access speeds, possible only with digital modems.

He said trials for the CDSL are now being carried out in the United States and would offer much higher speeds, once approved.

Dr Packard explained that Rockwell is working on core technology for remote access equipment for Internet service providers and the standards for this would be worked out in Geneva in early 1998.

Also: A spot interview with Dr Dennis Packard

Tell us what you think of this story