The government has laid optic fibre cable (OFC) in 23,604 gram panchayats till July 2015 to provide high speed broadband connectivity under the BharatNet project.
The target, though, was to roll out the network across 50,000 village panchayats by March 31, 2015. As part of the project, all the 2.5 lakh panchayats will be connected by the end of 2016.
A Department of Telecom official said after the current government took over last year, the pace of work has increased over 30 times.
"When this government took over last year, 250 km of OFC was laid which has been increased to 54,352 km. As of July 2015, OFC laying in 23,604 gram panchayats has been completed," the official said.
The national optical fibre network (NOFN) project was conceived in 2011 and deadline to connect all panchayats was fixed by the end of 2013 which was then deferred to September 2015 by the UPA government.
The NDA government revised the timeline for completion of the project and also changed the name to BharatNet.
To expedite the work, a committee was constituted to under former IT Secretary J Satyanarayana to suggest alternatives for faster implementation.