1.16 Lakh Gram Panchayats Out of 1.21 Lakh are Broadband Ready: Telecom Minister

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Broadband services are ready in over 1.16 lakh village panchayats out of the 1.21 lakh connected with optical fibre network under the BharatNet project, Parliament was informed Wednesday. The government plans to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) with optical fibre cable (OFC) enabled broadband services by March 2019.

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"As on December 2, 2018, a total of 1,21,652 GPs have been connected by laying 3,01,154 kilometre optical fibre cable (OFC). OFC laying & equipment installation has been completed at 1,16,411 GPs, which are Service Ready," Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply.

Sinha said that every gram panchayat is being provided with five Wi-Fi access points on an average, which includes two at public places and three for government institutions such as school, hospital, post offices and police station.

"For around 1.05 lakh GPs, the agencies for setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots have been selected. So far, Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed at 39,359 GPs and out of them, services are being provided at 10,775 GPs, catering to more than 11 lakh subscribers with a data usage of over 50 TeraByte per month," Sinha said, according to PTI.

Also, as part of the National Digital Communications Policy 2018, the government is aiming to provide every house with a wired broadband connection of 50 Mbps by 2022.

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