Govt To Launch Broadband Readiness Index Of States

The government is planning to launch broadband services readiness index of states based on parameters like infrastructure, approval processes and utilization of high speed Internet, a top telecom department official said.

Aruna Sundararajan, Telecom Secretary said the Ministry of Electronics and IT have also shown interest in states readiness index and want to expand it further.

The telecom ministry will hold first workshop on implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) which envisages USD 100 billion investments in telecom sector by 2022, broadband connectivity at 50 megabit per second speed to every citizen, telecom connectivity at every corner of India and creating 40 lakh jobs.

Industry leaders and associations will discuss at the NDCP workshop issues they are facing in states especially in rolling out telecom infrastructure which in turn impact investments.

“We want to ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas. It should reach rural areas. For this, we have to work with states to ensure that there is 100 percent penetration of optical fibre cables. Without massive OFC penetration, 5G services will not expand. States have to provide smooth right of way permissions,” Sundararajan said.

The telecom secretary said there is a need to increase mobile tower base by three times and OFC rollout by four-folds to achieve ‘broadband for all’ target under the National Broadband Mission.

The telecom ministry has floated tender to roll out 10 lakh Wifi hotspot across all 2.5 lakh village panchayats.

At present, 1.21 lakh panchayats are ready with broadband services infrastructure. The DoT has awarded task to roll out Wifi services in 62, 0000 panchayats to Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) and is working with ITI for setting up Wifi hotspots in other panchayats.

She said states have to ensure that there is enough electronic equipment available at their institutions to start using BharatNet broadband network for various services like tele-medicine, E-health, E-education etc.

She said the telecom ministry will discuss with states usage of broadband for development at aspirational districts, enhancing connectivity in Naxal-affected areas, north eastern states and islands.― The Quint

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