Speaking about the success of the Bharatnet project and the Prime Minister’s vision of bringing fiber optic-based connectivity to all villages, Rao said fiber-based broadband connection will have to be offered at a very competitive price in rural areas.
“Now the thinking that’s going on at the USOF level is that we should also be thinking in terms of planning a scheme so that last-mile connectivity can also be connected through feasibility gap funding so that if we can bring the network directly to villages, it should also be possible to go to homes,” Rao said.
The government aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to the 2.5 lakh village panchayats across the country through the Bharatnet project.
“We have reached the 1.47 lakh gram panchayats. The prime minister has announced that all six lakh villages will now have to be covered with fiber optics. So suddenly my task has tripled and the resources and planning are still remain the same. We have to go back to the drawing board and see how this is possible in a much shorter time,” Rao said.
He said the government is also looking at alternative technologies to bring broadband to every village home.