The Centre is hopeful of achieving the complete roll-out of broadband network across 2.5 lakh village panchayats in the country by 2018, telecom secretary J S Deepak today said. Speaking on Bharat Net program, which aims to provide broadband connectivity to all panchayats in the country, Deepak said all panchayats will have an ecosystem that will further boost the connectivity and bridge the digital divide in the country. Also Read - Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk to enter India's broadband market with satellite internet servicesAlso Read - Internet to stop working for select users from today: Why, who will be affected, what to do?
All village panchayats in the country will be connected through fibre optic network by 2018, he added. The government had earlier set deadline of December 2016 to roll out optical fibre network across all panchayats. He was speaking at Global Exhibition on Services. Deepak said the pace of digitization is accelerating and impressive but a lot still needs to be done.
The Telecom Secretary highlighted three areas that needed focus to bridge this divide — connectivity, language and digital illiteracy, and said the government and industry must work together to address the same.
On challenges in terms of language, Deepak said that at present most of the mobile communications are taking place in English but by January 1, 2017 mobile devices will be enabled for English, Hindi and one vernacular language.