Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that each village across the nation will be connected through optical fiber cable [OFC] by 2022. PM Modi made this announcement during the eve of 74th Independence Day and pointed out that only 60 panchayats across the nation were connected through OFC before 2014. Giving an assurance to about 6 lakh villages across India, Modi said that the Government will strive hard to enhance the internet connectivity with optical fiber network in the subsequent 1000 days.
He further said that in the meantime, the high-speed internet connection will be extended to Lakshadweep through the submarine optical fiber cable. During the Independence Day speech, Modi said that approximately 1.5 lakh gram panchayats across India have acquired OFC connectivity in the past 5 years. In the current pandemic situation, rural India must be also connected as part of the Digital India programme.
During the occasion of Independence Day, the Prime Minister also said that a new policy is likely to be launched on cybersecurity soon despite the menaces spreading from the cyberspace. PM Modi said that the nation has been witnessing the expansion of roads and internet connectivity at exceptionally high speed ‘from the peaks of the Himalayas to the islands in the Indian Ocean.’
The Indian Prime Minister also addressed that there is a rapid improvement in the demand for digital provisions for the people residing in rural regions. This mission will render universal and fair access to broadband services across the nation particularly in rural and remote locations. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Communications Minister of the nation who launched the mission also seeks to exceptionally enhance the quality of services for the internet and mobile phones.
The Minister said, ‘By 2022, we will take broadband to all the villages of India…The number of towers in the country which is about 5.65 lakh will be increased to 10 lakh.’ It is known that Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the very first undersea optical fiber cable project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Through this project, the Government aims at offering high-speed internet connectivity underwater in the Union Territory.
As per the project, the Indian Government has established a foundation for about 2312 kilometers between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands [CANI]. The submarine optical fiber cable project will connect both the locations. Acknowledging the drive being offered to digital India, Modi said that the significance of this exclusive mission has been grasped in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
PM Modi said, ‘We have around 1,300 islands. Keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance in the development of the nation, work to begin new projects in some of these islands is underway. We have chosen some islands for rapid development. According to the underwater CANI project, it renders 400Gbps of internet speed between Chennai and Port Blair. On the other hand, this project provides 200 Gbps of speed between Port Blair and other islands nearby.’
Modi said, ‘In the last month only, transactions worth about ₹3 lakh crore took place through BHIM UPI alone.’ He further said that during the lockdown period, the Government has witnessed a rapid improvement in digital transactions. Through an official tweet, the Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the mission of expanding internet connectivity across villages will be a ‘game-changer’ as part of the Digital India project.
He further assured ‘We will also take the speeds up to 50 Mbps is a phased manner.’ He requested all the states to provide their complete support to the mission. This in turn renders amazing benefits of technology to people in the form of high-speed internet connectivity. In the imminent future, this mission will contemplate stakeholder investment of about USD 100 billion including Rs. 70000 crore from the USOF [Universal Service Obligation Fund].
On the whole, this project targets to improve digital communications infrastructure, provide digital empowerment, render inexpensive global broadband access, and connect the digital divide. This mission also focuses on affordability, quality of services, and universalization. To expand the digital infrastructure alongside the endorsements of Right of Way [RoW], the center will work jointly with states and union territories following specific policies. Through this, the Government aims at laying optical fiber cable across the country even in villages. Stay tuned to this website to get the latest updates about the ongoing and future broadband expansion projects of the Indian Government.