Digital India: 20K Villages Now Broadband Connected
The committee which was set up by PM Modi to oversee and examine the Digital India vision has reported that as of now, 20,000 villages have been connected via broadband under National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) plan. At the same time, it has been decided that NOFN would be renamed as BharatNet.
Although the progress has been slow, with only 8% of the initial target achieved in 4 years, officials are now upbeat that the mission would be accomplished as work has been started on warfooting. (But yes, obstacles exist. For example, monkeys are creating trouble in Varanasi and stopping the digital India push)
Initially, it was envisioned that villages would be provided with 100 MBPS speed under this plan, but the target has now been revised to speeds between 2MBPS and 10 MBPS. Yesterday, we had reported that India still has second lowest broadband speeds in Asia Pacific region, with 2MBPS of average speed.
Additionally, the committee has recommended to increase the budget of the mega plan to Rs 72,000 crore from Rs 20,000 crore; which will enable to provide broadband access to households at a discounted rate of Rs 150 per month in poor states. In economically developed states, the committee has recommended a price range of Rs 250 per month.