Government to invest INR 20,000 crore to ensure mobile services in 55,000 villages
Yesterday, New Delhi was host to “Digital India” conference where The Union Minister for Communications & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad presided over the State/Uts IT Ministers and Secretaries. During the conference, some important announcements were made regarding investing in digital and developing infrastructure to get connectivity to more villages. Here are some of the highlights from the conference (source):
- The Government will ensure mobile services in 55,000 unconnected villages over the next five years with an investment of INR 20,000 crore. These funds will come through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
- The Telecom Ministry expects to connect half of these villages in the next three years in areas, including North-East, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Survey of villages is being done to build towers for this purpose.
- The low key department of IT in the States would soon be a high profile department, acting as a most important driver of change in Digital India.
- Prasad said the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) plan will herald an e-commerce revolution in India as the ambitious project worth around INR 35,000 crore aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lakh gram panchayats by March 2017.