At an industry event on Friday, Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman announced that BSNL, a state-run company, is working on the government's 4G saturation initiative, which aims to bring high-speed broadband connections to every village over the next year or so. Additionally, he claimed that the BSNL has already granted a significant number of contracts for passive infrastructure while still finalising those for active infrastructure.
Governments New Initiative
According to an ET report, Devusinh Chauhan, the Minister of State for Telecommunications, stated during the event that, Indians making up only half of China's population were engaged in digital transactions in 2017. However, according to recent data, India's digital transactions were double than that of China's population in 2021. And by the year 2040, all payments in India would be made digitally thanks to the measures being put in place to bridge the digital gap.
The Bharat Net programme, which looks into constructing an optical fibre network in rural regions, is another addition to 4G connection. According to Rajaraman, the Bharat Net programme has helped the telecom sector connect to roughly 1.9 lakh villages, and the goal is to connect to 2.2 lakh villages by the middle of next year. The Bharatnet network would eventually reach all 6 lakh Indian villages, according to the DoT's current plans. In 600 blocks, the government is implementing a pilot initiative where it has provided more than 30,000 homes with fibre connections out of Bharatnet at discounted rates. There is a lot of unmet demand, he continued. And, these rural fibre connections' average monthly data use was close to 45GB.
The government is implementing policy changes in order to assist the sector in effectively maintaining the optical fibre network. According to Rajaraman, the fibre network experiences at least four cuts per 1000 kilometres every month as a result of building work and the laying of water and gas pipelines. Further, the government is experimenting with a policy intervention in a few areas to prevent such cuts by requiring those digging to notify the owners of the fibre network. This will allow both parties to collaborate and prevent damage to communication equipment.