Cisco Enters into Agreement with Government of India; IT Minister Maran Welcomes Cisco's US $1 Billion Investment in India
Cisco will Invest US $10 Million to Establish Rural Connectivity Program and Set Up Next Generation Network Lab with BSNL in Chennai
strong>NEW DELHI, October 19, 2005 - Cisco and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Government of India, announced today that they will collaborate to support India's National E-Governance Plan. Cisco will also support Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's (BSNL) telecom network evolution by establishing Asia Pacific's first IP Next Generation Network (NGN) Lab for BSNL in Chennai. To support these two initiatives, Cisco will invest a combined US $10 million.
The announcements were made today in New Delhi after a meeting between The Honorable Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr. Dayanidhi Maran and Mr. John Chambers, President and CEO, Cisco. Minister Maran and Mr. Chambers met earlier this year in San Jose, California, to discuss ways that Cisco could collaborate with the Government of India's e-governance plans and efforts to bridge the "digital divide" by providing connectivity across India.
To support India's National E-Governance Plan, Cisco will establish the SWAN Advanced Technology Enablement Program. Under the program, Cisco will provide networking equipment for establishing a SWAN Advanced Technology Center of Excellence in the State government headquarters in India. These centers will serve as Pilots/Proof of Concept Labs which will enable the demonstration of technologies such as LAN/WAN, IP communications, wireless and security. They will also serve as test beds for State Governments to test applications and services before they are rolled out on the SWAN Network.
In addition to this, Cisco will set up an IP-based Next Generation Network (NGN) Lab with BSNL in Chennai. The lab will support BSNL's Telecom network evolution by providing an environment to test services before rolling out on the actual network.
Another major initiative of the Indian Government's national e-governance plan is to establish 'Common Service Centers" (CSC) in villages in India for providing citizens on-line access to government services in rural areas. Cisco will support this initiative by providing networking equipment necessary to build networking infrastructure for up to 100 villages. These villages can then serve as models for the entire CSC initiative.
"Affordable access to information infrastructure will play a critical role in India becoming a developed country," said John Chambers. "The government has embarked on a massive e-governance exercise aimed at connecting the country and bridging the digital divide. Cisco is proud to collaborate with the Indian government in its endeavor to e-enable the country, which is an important step as the country moves into the next phase of economic growth."
Chambers continued, "Cisco's collaboration with the Indian government strengthens the company's long-standing commitment to India."
Cisco will also support a year-long series of activities including senior-level workshops, research, reference visits and a national E-Government Summit, to be held in 2006. As a part of these activities, it will bring best practices and expertise in e-governance from around the world to India.
Cisco first established operations in India in 1995 and today employs over 1400 people in the country in its Global R&D center in Bangalore and offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkatta, Pune, Hyderabad and Colombo, Sri Lanka.