Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that the task to connect India’s over six lakh villages with optical fibre network will be completed in the next 1,000 days.
Besides, a high speed internet connectivity via submarine optical fibre cable will be extended to Lakshadweep in this period, he said.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India’s 74th Independence Day, he pointed out that only five dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fibre cable before 2014.
The prime minister also announced a new policy on cyber security to be unveiled shortly amid threats emanating from cyber space.
He said the country is witnessing expansion of roads and internet at unprecedented and rapid speed, from the peaks of Himalayas to islands in the Indian Ocean.
In the last five years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre cable, Modi said.
“In the next 1,000 days, all villages in the country will be connected with optical fibre,” he said, adding Lakshadweep too would be connected with submarine optical fibre cable in the next 1,000 days.
Modi recently inaugurated the first ever undersea optical fibre cable project for Andaman and Nicobar Islands which will provide high speed broadband connections in the union territory at par with services in the mainland.
The prime minister had laid the foundation for 2,312-kilometre Chennai – Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI) connecting submarine optical fibre cable project on December 30, 2018.
Referring to the 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.
During the lockdown period, digital transactions witnessed a huge surge.
In a tweet, IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said connecting all the villages in India by optical fibre internet in 1,000 days will be a “game changer” for Digital India.
Prasad further said that the telecom department will fast track the provisioning of high speed internet services via submarine optical fibre connectivity to Lakshadweep Islands, in line with target set by the prime minister.
“For high speed Internet services in Lakshadweep Islands PM @narendramodi Ji today set a target of 1000 days to provide submarine optical fibre connectivity to these islands. Like linking Andaman & Nicobar islands @DoT_India will fast track this as well”, the minister tweeted.
Meanwhile, an official release said that optical fiber connectivity to the villages and submarine OFC to the Lakshadweep islands will help people in getting cheaper and better connectivity, and in leveraging the benefits of Digital India.
“OFC connectivity to the villages and submarine OFC to the Lakshadweep islands will help the people in rural areas/villages and those in Lakshadweep islands in getting cheaper and better connectivity and all the benefits of Digital India, especially in improving online education, tele-medicine, banking system, online trading, boosting tourism and skill development etc,” the release said.