Internet Penetration in India is one of the lowest in the world – more so of the broadband. It is ironical that even though India is one of the biggest Software services hub in the world, yet we rank so lowly when it comes to ICT (Information and communication technologies).
However, Government seems to have woken up to this fact, and taking steps to increase internet / broadband penetration in India. One of the major impediments for growth of Internet has been the infrastructure and Government seems to precisely addressing this fact.
Indian Government is planning to form a Special Purpose Vehicle, to roll out 5 lakh route km of optical fiber network to connect all gram panchayats in the country.
And if you are thinking that it will take ages for Government to execute this plan, worry not – Government will be using existing fiber optic cables laid down by various Indian PSU’s like, RailTel, which has about 36,000 route km of cable running along the Indian Railway track or PowerGrid Corporation which has about 26,000 km of cable running through-out India. In addition to this BSNL also has over 5.5 lakh route km of cables connecting about 1 lakh villages that will utilized for purposes of Broadband connectivity.
It does not stop here – to boost Internet adoption in villages, Department of Telecom has proposed to offer a slew of freebies to attract the villagers. This includes giving three broadband connections to every Gram Panchayat free of charge for three years along with free installation of computer and printer; three telephone connections and one cable TV connection without any charge.
It is not only villages, last year Indian Ministry of Human Resources had announced free 1GB internet connectivity to every University (Government as well as Private) in India. These gigabyte lines are now already operational in most of the large universities in India.
It is really good to see Indian Government taking efforts to improve ICT infrastructure, as it is going to play a key role for future growth of India.