Nortel to inject $US350M into India's Internet

The Canadian networking equipment company will make the investments over the next three years to better link India to the rest of the world and further boost the country's growing IT industry, chief operating officer Clarence Chandran will tell government and business leaders during a visit to India this week, according to a Nortel statement.

Although India has a rapidly growing software industry in cities such as Bangalore, much of the country has limited Internet and even telephone services. Infrastructure is undergoing rapid development in some regions, such as the emerging high-tech area surrounding Hyderabad, with public-private initiatives and changes in government policies helping to pave the way. The Indian government recently approved a law that would put its agencies online.

Nortel will supply equipment for 10Gbps optical backbone networks that initially will double India's network capacity and ultimately could increase it 160-fold, according to the company.

In addition, Nortel said it will hire 500 more research and development scientists and engineers for its operations in India, and also committed to opening both a Centre of Excellence with Indian universities and an Internet Knowledge Centre for developing Internet expertise in the country.

To help expand the availability of the Internet across Indian society, Nortel said it will invite service providers to donate a percentage of their Internet backbone capacity to schools and government agencies, and help the providers hook up those institutions.

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