Internet and broadband penetration across both urban and rural areas progressed rapidly, and the reduced cost of data could enable the affordable access at a fast pace, the Pre-Budget Economic Survey said on Friday.
Acknowledging the key role played by the telecom sector in implementation of JAM-trinity (Jandhan Aadhaar Mobile) based social sector schemes and other pro-development initiatives of the government, the Economic Survey said efforts are being made to address the digital divide by extending inclusive internet access to every Indian citizen.
"Internet and broadband penetrated both in urban and rural areas at a rapid pace," it said.
The government has laid a strong emphasis on 'broadband for all' as a part of its Digital India campaign, the Survey noted.
The telecom sector has also been recognised the world over as a powerful tool for development and poverty reduction, it observed.
The Economic Survey took note of the "exponential" growth in wireless data usage, saying the average monthly wireless data consumption per subscriber had risen to 12.2 GB in June 2020 from 9.1 GB in March 2019.
"The reduced cost of data could enable affordable internet access at a rapid pace. As of June 2020, the cost of wireless data stood at Rs 10.55 per GB," it said.
The government has undertaken a slew of initiatives including BharatNet to realise the goals of Digital India programme.
"Under the project, network infrastructure is being established for broadband highways, accessible on a non-discriminatory basis to provide affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in rural areas, in partnership with states and the private sector," it said.
As on January 15, 2021 about 4.87 lakh kms of optical fiber cable has been laid to cover 1.63 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) and nearly 1.51 lakh GPs have become service-ready, it added.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.