Affordable Internet Is Digital India's Priority: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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Affordable Internet Is Digital India's Priority: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the priority of the government's Digital India campaign is to provide subsidised Internet and optical fibre cable linking 250,000 gram panchayats.

Prasad reportedly said in an interview that delivering government services to citizens and ensuring availability of the same falls under the ambit of the Digital India campaign.

He said that optical fibre cables will reach out to 250,000 gram panchayats, enabling speeds of 100Mbps, which will be used as a means to share information with stakeholders.

Prasad emphasised that the major pillar of the program is mobile connectivity to get information and various types of services. Going forward, all government services and facilities will be available on mobile, he said.

Prasad said that over 80,700 kilometre of lines have been laid and about 54,300 kilometres of optical cables have been installed. The previous government had only laid about 2,000 kilometres of lines and 250 kilometres of optical cable, he said. Kerala, Chandigarh, and Puducherry have been completely brought under Bharatnet.

An expert committee will implement the program with state governments and the private sector to speed up the setting up of network infrastructure. The minister said that constructing new buildings to provide communications infrastructure in urban areas will be essential.

Public Wi-Fi hot-spots will also be provided in cities and tourist destinations with a population of over 1 million, he said. In addition, over 250,000 secondary and higher secondary schools will be connected to free Wi-Fi facilities.

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