The government’s National Broadband Mission (NBM) is likely to see an investment of Rs 7 trillion with 90 per cent of the contribution coming from industry players.

Telecom minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in his written reply to Lok Sabha, said, “The likely investment under the NBM is around Rs 7 trillion 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 700 billion which will cover all the states in the country including the states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.”

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

Meanwhile, the minister stated that as of February 2020, a total of 136,693 gram panchayats (GPs) (including block headquarters) have been made service ready. Further, public Wi-Fi hotspots at 25,000 rural telephone exchanges of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (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.