In a bid to improve governance at the grass roots level, the government has decide to extend broadband connectivity to all villages by 2012, Minister of State for Communications and IT Gurudas Kamat said Friday.
"Out of about 2.5 lakh gram (village) panchayats across the country, 30,000 have been provided with broadband connectivity,” Kamat said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
"It has been planned to provide broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats in a progressive manner by the end of 2012.”
The government's universal service obligation fund (USOF) has planned to provide broadband connectivity to about 500,000 villages in a phased manner.
USOF, being raised through a 5 per cent levy imposed on telecom operators' revenues, is utilised for supporting telecom services in rural areas.
"USOF has also signed an agreement with BSNL for subsidy disbursement for providing 900,000 wireline broadband connections including customer premises equipment and computer or computing devices in rural and remote areas,” Kamat said.
According to the minister, out of the 21,389 villages in Andhra Pradesh, 6,871 are broadband-enabled.