Government to complete works of laying optical fiber networks in next 1,000 days
The government will complete the works of connecting all villages with optical fiber networks in the next 1,000 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India's 74th Independence Day, PM Modi also announced that high-speed internet connectivity via submarine optical fiber cable will be extended to Lakshadweep in this period.
Pointing that only 60 village panchayats were connected with optical fiber before 2014, the PM said, "In the last 5 years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fiber. In the coming 1000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fiber."
Lakshadweep too would be connected with submarine optical fiber cable in the next 1,000 days, he said.
He recently inaugurated the first-ever 2313 km undersea optical fiber cable project between Chennai-Port Blair. He had laid the foundation for the project on December 30, 2018.
The Bharat Net project, aimed at providing internet connectivity to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) has picked up pace in recent years but still running behind schedule. It initially began as the National Optical Fibre Network in October 2011, has been delayed due to various reasons.
The Centre has been seeking states to support Bharat Net scheme and requested them to examine the right of way issues for promoting the development of a robust telecom network.
The PM also announced a new policy on cybersecurity to be unveiled shortly amid threats emanating from cyberspace.
He said the country is witnessing an expansion of roads and the internet at unprecedented and rapid speed, from the peaks of Himalayas to islands in the Indian Ocean.
Referring to digital India, he said the importance of the mission has been realised during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"In the last month only, transactions worth about Rs 3 lakh crore took place through BHIM UPI alone," he said.
The PM also said that new projects are being taken up in some of the islands keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance in the development of the nation.
"We have chosen some islands for rapid development. Recently, we connected Andaman and Nicobar Islands with an undersea cable for better internet. Next, we will connect Lakshadweep," PM said.
While commenting on announcement of high speed Internet services in Lakshadweep Islands, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted saying that the Prime Minister has set a target of 1000 days to provide submarine optical fibre connectivity to these islands.