The government had promised to provide affordable and quality telecommunication services in rural and remote areas through its National telecom Policy – 2012, which is expected to give a boost to the GDP through telecommunications. Keeping this in view, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between DoT, Governemnt of India, BSNL and Gujarat government to establish an optical fibre-based network for broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats for universal services to rural population of the state.


Gujarat signs MoU with DoT, Government of India and BSNL

According to TheEconomicTimes, the MoU was signed yesterday in the presence of Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Communicaion and IT, at Delhi, and signed on behalf of Gujarat government by Shri S. B. Chaudhari, Deputy Secretary from panchayat, Rural Housing and Rural Development Department. Now, under this project, all villages of the state will be covered under National Optical Fiber Network.

A similar MoU has also been signed by several other states such as  Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, to name a few. The eGRAM Vishwagram Project has helped establish a total of 13,685 eGram centres in village panchayats. These eGram centres have been equipped with VSAT broadband connected PCs. The aim is to set up  optical fibre network project across all villages to transform them into eVillages. According to a statement by the state government, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi initiated this reform by dedicating the widest village connectivity network of Asia in 2009 through the eGram Vishwagram project. It further states that this will help abridge the digital gap between the rural and urban areas and provide e-services to 13,685 gram panchayats.

Recently, we saw how Google successfully implemented Google Fiber in Kansas City, US to offer blazing fast Internet speeds at a modest cost. A good Internet connection is becoming a must in today’s digital age. In fact, many countries have made Internet connectivity a legal right. The Indian government hasn’t made any such provision, but it is keen to get the last mile of the country connected; one of its initiatives is the National Optic Fibre Network.

With this move, the Internet penetration across rural and remote regions of India can be deepened, a problem we have been facing for some time now. Getting these villages connected would be a great initiative considering the fast paced web and mobile age.

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