A Little Nudge To Go Wireless, Government To Set Up Rural WiFi Hotspots To Connect 25,000 Gram Panchayats
A Little Nudge To Go Wireless, Government To Set Up Rural WiFi Hotspots To Connect 25,000 Gram PanchayatsAn agriculturist uses internet in rural Maharashtra (Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to take rural connectivity up by a step with a revised tender for setting up rural WiFi hotspots to come out soon. The DoT had earlier put out a tender to set up two hotspots per gram panchayat at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore. The revised tender will set up five hotspots instead with a revised cost of Rs 10,000 crore.

According to a report in Mint, of the Rs 10,000 crore, around Rs 3.600 crore will come from the government through viability gap funding (VGF) and the connectivity will be made available to police stations, post offices, heath centres and schools.

The Telecom Commission – the highest decision making body within the DoT – will meet on 29 June to give its final approval to the proposal.

The DOT had in May floated a draft policy with an aim to offer universal broadband at a speed of 50 mb/sec while attracting an investment of $100 billion in digital communication by 2022. The policy also aims to provide connectivity to all gram panchayats – with a speed of 1 gb/sec by 2020 and 10 gb/sec by 2022 – while also providing internet on demand to key institutions. The DoT also wants to set up 5 million hotspots by 2020 and increase that to 10 million by 2022.

How well are we doing to bring Rural India online? Watch the video to know more.

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