E-Gov: In digital Telangana, the pipe for water to also serve broadband

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New Delhi | Published: April 6, 2017 3:18:19 AM

The Telangana government is aiming to become the first state in the country to provide broadband connection to every household in the next 18 months, piggybacking on the potable drinking water supply system.

“We hope to become the first in the country to provide broadband connection to every household along with potable drinking water supply,” KT Rama Rao, IT minister, Telangana government, says.

The Telangana government is aiming to become the first state in the country to provide broadband connection to every household in the next 18 months, piggybacking on the potable drinking water supply system. By mid-2018, Telangana aims to wire every home with a broadband connection as well give drinking water through a single pipeline. Parallelly, Hyderabad is now the first city in the country to have the highest internet connection speed of 1 Gigabyte Per Second (Gbps). The idea is that Hyderabadis can surf at mind-boggling speed with the city joining the club of elite cities such as Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kansas with high internet speed.

“We hope to become the first in the country to provide broadband connection to every household along with potable drinking water supply,” KT Rama Rao, IT minister, Telangana government, says. The idea is to synergise and use the trenches dug for pipelines of drinking water for laying fibre optic networks for broadband connection. “When we started planning for providing portable drinking water to around 10 million houses of Telangana, we realised that we would be laying nearly 120,000 km of new pipelines. We decided to synergise other things on to the same trench and the plan to lay fibre optic network was also finalised,” he said. “We are creating a digital ecosystem to ensure an advanced e-commerce, e-health and e-education facilities in the state. As a first step, we are creating T-Fiber or Telangana Fiber Grid for establishing a state-of-the-art network infrastructure to facilitate the realisation of Digital Telangana objective by piggybacking on drinking water project— Mission Bhagiratha.”

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T- Fiber provides infrastructure for affordable and high speed broadband connectivity and digital services to 10 zones which include 31 districts, 464 mandals, 8778 gram panchayats, 10,128 villages, 83.58 lakh households and more than 3.5 crore people. This will help in providing transparent government to citizen (G2C) and government to government (G2G) services by providing high speed broadband connectivity to government offices, educational institutions, hospitals, banks and other public service institutions. This will essentially be through piggybacking on Mission Bhagiratha project which is providing drinking water to rural Telangana to save digging and trenching costs, says Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary.

“The state is planning two major things which includes pushing the ambit of digital literacy and making applications which have social relevance,” Jayesh Ranjan says.

Recently, Google India and the Telangana government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the digitisation efforts in the state. “Google is a valuable partner of Telangana and we are launching many initiatives with them that will benefit women, small businesses, youth, and others across our state,” says Rao. As part of the MoU, Google India will provide Google Cloud credits and access to all cloud platform products to eligible start-ups engaged with Telangana government’s T-Hub initiative, and provide technical mentorship and advisory support to start-ups through its developer relations team. Both sides will also make all government sites mobile friendly and introduce programmes to help local small and medium businesses get online and stay safe online.

As part of Google Cultural Institute project, Google will work with the culture and tourism department of the state to create a digital repository of the architectural and cultural heritage, its history and imagery and make it accessible globally. Besides, Google will also promote digital literacy among rural women in Telangana through the ‘Internet Saathi’ programme.

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