The allocation for the ambitious Bharat Net project is being stepped up to Rs 10,000 crore in 2017-18 and high-speed broadband on optical fibre will be available in over 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots and access to digital services at low tariffs, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
A 'Digi Gaon' initiative will also be launched to provide telemedicine, education and skills through digital technology, Jaitley said in his Budget speech.
"Under the Bharat Net, optical fibre has been laid in 1,55,000 kms. I have stepped up allocation for Bharat Net project to Rs 10,000 crore in 2017-18 and by the end of 2017-18, high speed broadband on optical fibre will be available in more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots and access to digital services at low tariff," Jaitley said.
The minister said the recent spectrum auctions have removed the spectrum scarcity in the country. "This will give a major fillip to mobilising broadband and Digital India, for the benefit of people living in rural areas," he pointed out.