National Broadband Mission investment estimated at Rs 7 lakh cr: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government’s plan to provide broadband services in all villages of the country is likely to see an investment of Rs 7 lakh crore with 90 per cent of the contribution coming from industry players, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

“The likely investment under the National Broadband Mission is around Rs 7 Lakh crore which is to be catalysed largely by the industry out of which contribution by the government through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is envisaged to be around 10 per cent, that is, approximately Rs 70,000 crore which will cover all the states in the country including the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Under the National Broadband Mission (NBM), the government envisages providing broadband access to all villages in the country, including those in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, by 2022.

The NBM is seen as an extension of the BharatNet project under which the government is working to provide broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs).

In a separate reply, Prasad said that as of February 2020, a total of 1,36,693 GPs (including block headquarters) have been made service ready.

“Public wi-fi hotspots at 25,000 rural telephone exchanges of BSNL are being provided. As of February 2020, a total of 24,289 Wi-Fi hotspots are installed and out of them, 23,787 are providing services,” the minister said.

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