Government To Connect All Gram Panchayats With Wi-Fi By 2018

All the gram panchayats will have the wi-fi connectivity by October 2018 under the Bharat Net programme, a senior government official said here on Monday.

Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak said here at a round table conference on the topic 'Data Connectivity for the next Billion'

"By October 2018, the plan is to finish coverage of all gram panchayats with wi-fi as the last mile solution."

The Bharat Net initiative

The conference was organized on the occasion of the annual general meeting of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). The Bharat Net initiative is committed to take the optical fibre to each and every gram panchayat in next three years, Deepak said. Under the programme, wi-fi will be delivered, with a viability finding kind of approach, to each and every citizen at the price of about Rs.100 per month, he said.

 He said:

"In the first phase of the program, by March 2017, we will have 100,000 gram panchayats with 80-100 mbps connectivity with a last mile wi-fi, hotspot kind of end-user possibility to make data available to those who do not have access to it."

He added:

"In the next phase of the plan (Bharat Net), with underground fibre, overhead fibre, radio satellite and the use of state government agency, specially the power distribution companies, the plan is to finish coverage of all gram panchayats." 

On the occasion, COAI also released its 2015-16 annual report, which said that about 800 million Indians will be covered by wireless broadband services by 2020 from the current 250 million.


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