The Government has planned to set up about 1 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) to provide Government services including access of broadband connectivity to citizens in rural areas.
As on 31st October 2009, there are about 7.19 million broadband subscribers in the country. The Government has planned to expand broadband coverage to connect every Gram Panchayat to broadband network by May 2012.
For promoting the growth of broadband, the steps taken/being taken by the Government are as under:
Indian Telegraph Act 1885 has been amended to enable provision or USOF support for broadband connectivity to rural and remote areas.
An agreement has been signed by USOF with BSNL for providing wire-line broadband connections in and around 28,000 villages/rural locations over a period of 5-years, i.e., by 2014. The subsidy disbursement is for broadband connections, Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), computer/computing devices, setting up of kiosks for public access to broadband services. The estimated subsidy flow is Rs. 1500 crores.
This reply was given by Shri Gurdas Kamat, Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology in Lok Sabha today.