It is no wonder that people these days are more dependent on the internet and smartphones than ever before and, why should they not be? In today’s day and age, amidst a global pandemic, the need to stay connected has gravely increased, with tasks such as schooling and office related work having been moved to the online medium. From old people to youngsters, all of them have had to adjust to this digital age, in one way or the other.
In a step that will ensure that tribal areas are brought closer virtually, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed the government-owned telecom operator BSNL to replace the currently outdated solar backup technology to fix the issue that is related to inadequate bandwidth caused by poor electricity supply in remote and suburban areas of the state.
What Does the Court Have to Say?
A division of bench of Justices comprising of Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Chander Bhusan Barowalia stated that they were informed by the official of the BSNL that even though the telco has solar back up but the same is based on outdated and obsolete technology using a lead-acid battery.
The next hearing of the matter has been listed on July 26, with the judge observing that it seems that one of the major issues of inadequate bandwidth and/or broadband signal is the erratic supply of electricity in backward and far-flung areas of the state, more particularly the tribal areas.
He further mentioned that in the given circumstances, the court is of the considered view that old and outdated technology needs to be phased out gradually, and the batteries need to be replaced with the latest technology in a phased manner.
The court further directed BSNL to prepare a roadmap that should comprise of the installation of the latest solar panels initially with a focus on the 191 towers that are situated in the backward areas of Himachal Pradesh and then get the same approved via the quarters concerned within a period of one month starting Monday as well as report compliance on the next date of hearing.
The judges also found the rates for laying cables in the state to probably be the highest in the country at Rs 1,600 per metre. In regards to this, Advocate General Ashok Sharma was given four weeks time to inform the court in regards to this aspect.