Govt. Will Provide 4000 Free Movies With Broadband Connection For 1.25 Lakh Villages!
There is no greater news than getting free movies on the Internet!
Under the BharatNet programme, Indian Government is providing free access to a catalogue of movies and other entertainment content in a bid to attract first time Internet consumers from the remote rural areas of India.
The aim of the BharatNet programme, to connect more than 2.5lakh locations with optic fibre network across India.
The BharatNet programme is active in around 1.25 lakh gram panchayats and is expected to cover 2.5 lakh locations in this second phase.
How is the Programme Beneficial?
According to ET, the government will offer a catalogue of more than 4000 movies and entertainment content to citizens through its common service centres (CSCs) or digital kiosks.
A senior government official has said that the programme will help those living in remote rural areas of the country where broadband services and 4G mobile have not yet reached and the connectivity is still erratic.
The high-speed internet services provided under the BharatNet project may give an edge to CSCs over private broadband providers who may be offering internet services in those areas.
These internet services are expected to ensure fast downloads and streaming.
The minister of electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced that these internet services provided by the CSCs will be free till March 2020.
This initiative by the government is expected to be another push to launch India into the digital age!
How will the Newly Launched Initiative Work?
The CSCs will be responsible to offer last mile Internet connectivity to homes in the form of prepaid monthly coupons. It’s up to the CSC’s to provide services either through Wi-fi or direct to home fibre.
“It’s a strategy to make people get a taste of the internet before driving more use-cases,” according to a senior government official.
The official added saying, “Movies and entertainment seem to be a good proposition to get people to pay for the Internet for the first time.”
The CSCs will not charge anything for the internet coupons for movies and entertainment content initially. Reportedly, after the free trial the CSCs will start charging the for the internet services, with the coupon rates varying according to region and will be under Rs 500 per month.
Indian Government Partnering with Zee; a Smart Move!
In the upcoming project, the government has tied-up with Zee-owned SugarBox Networks to offer these internet-based entertainment services to around 100 locations in the country to test the response initially.
The pilot is expected to be completed in cities like Patna and Varanasi by this month.
Rohit Paranjpe, cofounder and CEO of SugarBox Networks, said that installing the service in far-flung areas will help in optimising the bandwidth of broadband services which will help in improving the overall experience of the users. Post a free trial period of six months to see the consumption trends, SugarBox is looking to work out several pricing models such as movie streaming packs for INR 5 per day.
According to Paranjpe, through the BharatNet programme the company is looking forward to launching more services such as gaming, ecommerce and e-learning.
This isn’t the first time Sugarbox is teaming with the Indian Government. Railtel has partnered with Sugarbox to provide content on demand (CoD) services for the Indian Railways on trains as well as railway stations across India.