India is set to take a giant leap in connectivity as work begins soon on a grand, 20,000-crore ($3.3 billion) project to link its 250,000 village councils with high-speed data cables to take e-governance to the grassroots and facilitate e-services in fields ranging from education to entertainment in this sub continental nation.
“We have completed 70 percent of the groundwork,” said N. Ravi Shanker, chairman and managing of Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), set up by the government to execute this project, referring to the preliminary work in terms of hardware assessment and surveys.
“It will take another two-three months to conclude this survey. Then we will know if we have correctly assessed the requirement at 500,000 km of optic fibre to connect these 250,000 village panchayats (village councils). Work will start soon after,” Shanker told IANS.
At present, optical fibre cable connectivity is available in all state capitals, districts and blocks. To this, incremental cables will be laid to take it to the village panchayat level as part of the project to link this huge country’s over 650,000 villages through the National Optical Fibre Network.