The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced its plans to provide mobile connectivity to 55,669 villages in India by March 2019, according to a report by PTI. It is commisioning a project to connect 8,621 villages in the north-eastern region of India by September 2017, through the installation of 312 mobile tower sites. The government has already approved a telecom development plan for the North-East India, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,336.18 crore. The announcement was made via a note about the progress made during the last two years of the NDA government.
The DoT also noted that out of the 2,199 towers identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs in areas affected by left wing extremism, 1,517 have started functioning. In addition, the department said that as on April 25 this year, it has laid optic fibre for high-speed broadband in 48,199 gram panchayats. For deeper penetration, the government has started the BharatNet project, which is a part of the Government’s plans for Digital India. The project aims to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India, which have over 600 million people.