India aims to bring high-speed digital connectivity to every village by 2018 and is keen to share expertise in the area with other nations, the government said on Tuesday.
“India’s Department of Telecom, under the Universal Services Obligation (USO) fund, is working to bring high-speed broadband to every village in the country by 2018,” Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak said at the global conference here organised by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC).
“The government is working to bring the game-changing impact of technology to all our six lakh villages and the optical fibre network to all rural areas,” he added.
Noting that the Indian telecom was currently the “most happening infrastructural sector in the country”, Deepak dwelt on the unique advantage of Indian products.
“Indian products offer the unique advantage of impeccable quality at affordable prices,” he said, adding these are based on the “state-of-the-art technology” and are “future proof, in that, they can be upgraded and upscaled and don’t have to be thrown away”.
Pointing out that Indian products are “robust”, designed for tough climatic and dusty conditions, Deepak said that telecom manufacturing in India was characterised by the synergy between hardware and software.
“Lastly, we have a fast-growing startup eco system, the second largest in the world,” he added.
In his Union Budget presented on February 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would allocate Rs 10,000 crore to expand the Bharat Net project in 2017-18 for high-speed broadband.
Bharat Net was rebranded from the earlier National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project in April 2015, and aims to cover a total of 2.5 lakh village panchayats.
The Bharat Net project is funded under the USOF set up in 2012 for providing telecom services in rural areas at subsidised rates.