All gram panchayats to get internet access by next year: Government

NEW DELHI: Internet services are expected to be provided to all the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by the end of next year, government told Lok Sabha today, adding that the net connectivity is being strengthened to promote “less cash economy”.

One lakh gram panchayats are to be connected by underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) by March this year under the first phase of BharatNet project, Minister P P Chaudhary said while replying to questions on behalf of Minister of State for CommunicationsManoj Sinha who was not present in the House.

Internet users spend more time on mobile than desktop: Zinnov

Under the second phase of BharatNet project, remaining 1.5 lakh gram panchayats are to be provided connectivity by December 2018, Chaudhary said. This would be done through a mix of underground fibre cables, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media.

“Internet connectivity is being strengthened for less cash economy. Low internet penetration can affect Digital India initiatives. In the absence of internet facility to the users, e-governance services are not accessible to them,” said a written reply by Sinha.

Affordable over-the-top internet plans may boost Indian OTT market: Report

As on January 29, 2017, Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid to 76,089 gram panchayats with a total length of 1,72,257 kilometres. As many as 16,355 gram panchayats have been provided with broadband connectivity.

In his written reply, Sinha also said that augmentation of telecom infrastructure to provide internet services in cities and towns is left to the telecom service providers for their commercial decision.

“It is expected that competition in the market will drive them to roll out networks which provide better internet service,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *