To attract new users to the internet, the government is putting in some interesting new efforts. Via the common service centres (CSCs) the government will be providing a catalog of over 4,000 movies and other entertainment content. According to a top official, CSCs have been given the mandate to offer last-mile internet connectivity through BharatNet, reports EconomicTimes. These services will be provided to homes through a system of monthly pre-paid coupons. Also Read - DoT gears up to complete BharatNet rollout ahead of schedule by Dec-end
Apart from the CSCs, digital kiosks will also be a part of the scene. Those who avail the services can do so either through Wi-Fi or direct-to-home fibre.”Movies and entertainment seem to be a good proposition to get people to pay for the Internet for the first time,” said a senior government official. The official added that people who purchase internet coupons from the CSCs will be offered free movies and entertainment content initially. Also Read - Government launches BharatNet Phase II, telcos give cheques to participate in project
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According to the official, the strategy is to let people have a free taste of the internet so they can see what it has to offer before they start paying for it. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the minister for electronics and CSC-offered internet services will be free till March 2020. The government’s high-speed broadband network BharatNet is currently active at close to 1.25 lakh gram panchayats. Further, it will cover a total of 2.5 lakh locations in its second phase. Also Read - Government rolls out BharatNet Phase 2, aims 100% connectivity by 2020
Where and when will the government begin these services?
The ministry of electronics and IT run the CSCs. These have a total network of over 3.6 lakh CSCs across India. They have partnered with Zee-owned SugarBox Networks for the initiative. The program will begin in 100 locations starting next month to test the initial response of people. According to the official, broadband services have not reached remote parts of the country yet. 4G mobile services in these areas are also sketchy in terms of connectivity. BharatNet will enable fast streaming or downloads in these areas. They might even give the CSCs an edge over private players in the area.