India to develop broadband readiness index

17 Dec 2018

The Indian government has revealed plans to introduce a broadband readiness index for the nation's states as part of efforts to encourage an additional $100 billion investment in the telecoms sector.

Telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told the Press Trust of India that the broadband readiness index will be vital for directing investments aimed at meeting the National Broadband Mission.

According to the telecom secretary, there is a pressing need to increase the number of mobile base stations by three times and expand optical fiber rollouts by four times in order to meet the target of providing broadband for all.

As part of the government's National Digital Communications Policy, the government aims to ensure all citizens have access to 50Mbps broadband by 2022. The initiative also envisions the creation of 5 million new jobs.

Sundarajan added that the government is eager to ensure that 5G is not limited to early areas, but extends to rural areas as well. To achieve this the government wants to work with states to ensure 100% penetration of fiber.

Meanwhile the telecom ministry has launched a tender to roll out 1 million W-Fi hotspots across all 250,000 village panchayats (local government areas) in the nation. The government is encouraging states to identify institutions that are to be connected with Wi-Fi, such as schools and police stations.

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