India to have 600 million broadband connections by 2020.
He further informed that the Government has planned the BharatNet project to provide 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats (approx. 2.5 lakh) in the country. Under first phase of the project, 1 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) are to be connected by laying underground Optical Fibre Cable(OFC) which is under implementation. Under Phase-II, targeted to be completed by March 2019, connectivity will be provided to remaining 1.5 lakh GPs in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media.
The Minister said that the provision of last mile access to the network and broadband service provisioning shall be through Wi-Fi or any other broadband access technologies in all 2,50,000 GPs in the country. As on 23.07.2017, the status of implementation of BharatNet is as under:-
No. of GPs where OFC laying is completed : 100,299 GPs
Optical Fibre Cable laid : 221,925 Kms
Broadband Connectivity provided in GPs : 25,426 GPs