FCC Chairman Ajit Pai highlighted American Tower Corporation when he spoke to the U.S.-India Business Council late Wednesday on strategies for successful digital infrastructure deployment.
American Tower Chairman, President and CEO Jim Taiclet moderated a panel Pai took part in. Pai described his trip to the India Mobile Congress in New Delhi last October. Outside New Delhi, the FCC Chairman checked out an American Tower cell site.
“This cell site provides wireless coverage to thousands of people for whom a mobile phone is their only digital access to the outside world,” said Pai. “And the fiber that feeds the site is used for internet kiosks for teaching math and reading to kids in impoverished areas.” Pai stressed that as a person of South Asian descent, he couldn’t describe, “what it meant to see Indian kids eager for the opportunity to learn and improve their lives.”
Pai continued: “To me, this site visit perfectly captures the value of the U.S.-India Business Council and the collaboration it promotes. American Tower benefits from the opportunity to expand its business to a new market. And the people of India benefit from expanded access to modern communications. Everyone is better off.”
On his first international trip as FCC Chairman, Pai met with his Indian counterpart, the Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, R.S. Sharma. They signed a Letter of Intent for enhanced cooperation between the two agencies. Since then, they’ve increased their cooperation, regularly exchanging information and sharing ideas on topics of mutual interest, like advancing broadband deployment, according to Pai.
He praised Indian Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government for their goals of universal internet access by 2022, and fixed broadband access to 50 percent of households by 2022. To meet these targets, they’re installing two million public WiFi hotspots in rural areas and redesigning and expanding the Universal Service Obligation Fund, the Chairman explained.
June 14, 2019