By 2022, 63,663 villages in Maharashtra to get broadband access

The Maharashtra government has set up a 11-member Broadband Mission committee chaired by the chief secretary to bridge the digital divide and make broadband services available and affordable to all citizens of the country.

In all, 63,663 villages in the state are expected to have access to broadband services by 2022. This will include the availability of high broadband speeds, accelerated fiberisation, enhanced connectivity and improved quality of service by increasing tower density and the rollout of 5G network and strengthening of 4G network.

The state Director Information Technology Ranjit Kumar, in a notification, said, “For effective implementation of the mission and proliferation of broadband, the state broadband committee has been formed.”

He further said the state broadband committee will advise, either suo moto or on a request from the Governing Council or Steering Committee, on matters related to the accomplishment of the objectives of the mission concerning the state. It will facilitate the implementation of the guidelines issued by the Governing Council or Steering Committee, enabling the expansion of broadband services for the socio-economic development of the state.

The committee will address all matters regarding Broadband Readiness Index (BRI), including monitoring and evaluating the work of the mission pertaining to the state.

The Department of Information Technology Officer said that the central government has set up a National Broadband Mission to promote digital connectivity, e-governance, transparency, financial inclusion and ease of doing business. For India, connectivity is the key requirement across all infrastructure sectors, such as water, electricity, communication, gas, highways, ports and airports. “Maharashtra government has taken a slew of initiatives to promote digital connectivity and, thereby, bridge the digital divide between rural and urban as well as rich and poor. As per the mission, the state government will leverage BharatNet to provide connectivity to development institutions, such as hospitals, police stations, panchayat offices, schools and colleges and anganwadis, amongst others, from the BharatNet network. This initiative will go a long way in the delivery of e-governance services, such as e-health, e-education, e-commerce, and cashless transactions in rural areas,’’ he noted.

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