Common Service Centres (CSC) under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has undertaken the task of laying optical fibre network to connect villages to gram panchayats or village blocks across India under the Centre’s BharatNet Initiative. The CSC is taking the initiative through its Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs).
In his address on the 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Only five dozen village panchayats were connected with optical fibre before 2014. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. In the coming 1000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fibre”.
Taking up the PM’s vision of connecting villages through optical fibre network, CSC aims to provide Fiber To The Home (FTTH) broadband internet connectivity to 45,945 villages of nearly 8900 Gram panchayats, where Wi-Fi and FTTH through BharatNet are functional.
Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC said that with the spread of broadband connectivity in villages of Bihar, online service delivery and various other schemes and initiatives by the government can be availed by citizens with just a click. New employment opportunities will open up in villages and this will help local youth and especially girls to become independent and support to their families. Further, new avenues of extra income sources such as rural BPO, E-Commerce, e-Education, Tele-Medicine, online-banking, shall be created by the availability of internet in villages.
The task of operation and maintenance optical fibre network laid under the BharatNet phase 1 as allocated to CSC in July 2019. In January 2020, the FTTH connectivity was also added to five government institutions. However, CSC VLEs achieved a great output in phase-1, wherein 5889 Gram Panchayats there were over 45,000 subscribers with over 20,000 rural households and government institutions who have access to broadband internet.