All 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country will be connected with the internet by December 2018 and one lakh of them connected by the month-end, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on 15 March, 2017.
Sinha said in Lok Sabha that BharatNet project was being implemented with the objective of creating network infrastructure to provide broadband connectivity of 100 Mbps to all GPs in the country.
"Phase-I to connect one lakh GPs is scheduled to be completed by March, 2017. The connectivity to all the GPs is to be provided by December, 2018," he said during Question Hour.
The BharatNet project is being implemented under the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF).
The Minister said Wi-Fi Hotspots will also be created in every GP and the Communications Ministry has already given approval for it.
Plans are afoot to create two Wi-Fi Hotspots in every village in the country after installation of the Optical Fibre Cable networks, he said.
Sinha said the government has taken cognizance of the delay in the project and identified the reasons for the delay and taken corrective actions.
The Minister said other projects being implemented under the USOF include providing mobile connectivity in Left Wing Extremist areas and a comprehensive telecom development plan for the North Eastern region to provide mobile connectivity in 8,621 uncovered villages besides others.