The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide a grant to AirJaldi, an internet service provider, to conduct a feasibility study to take broadband connectivity to over 30 million people in rural and peri-urban communities across India. The amount of the grant, however, was not disclosed. AirJaldi has selected Georgia-based Vernonburg Group LLC to conduct the study.
According to USTDA, projects such as this can transform communities and stimulate more inclusive economic growth. The study will evaluate the technical and economic viability of expanding AirJaldi’s broadband network to new rural and peri-urban areas, as well as modelling sustainable business cases and scenarios for delivering affordable connectivity and value-added digital services for customers in these markets. The study will identify and prioritise infrastructure investments for AirJaldi to expand broadband connectivity across 16 Indian states, design network architecture, evaluate technology options, provide a financing plan and assess other critical areas that will be necessary for the project’s implementation.
As per the agency, the project advances the priorities of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework with the goal of developing, expanding, and deploying secure digital infrastructure to power economic growth and facilitate open digital societies.