$2 Bn public-private partnership for rural internet access

Tuesday, 27 May 2008, 05:17 Hrs
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New Delhi: The government Saturday announced a $2-billion public-private partnership to provide broadband and internet connectivity in country's rural areas.

Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, speaking at Global Telecom Summit here, said that $1.5 billion for the project would be generated from the private sector and the balance would be funded from government sources.

"This is part of the government's scheme for extension of Knowledge Mission and initiatives taken by former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi," he added.

The minister also announced 112,000 broadband centres would be set up in rural areas across the country, within a year.

Scindia said the government would come forth with its broadband policy soon.

"We will also have a policy for Wi-Max so that connectivity for broadband, particularly for rural India, becomes easier and convenient. The entire countryside would be provided with this facility, largely under the public-private partnership," Scindia disclosed.

The ministry of communication & IT is also expected to unfold its third generation of mobile phone standards and technology - 3G service - guidelines by June this year. The 3G services are expected to be rolled out by the end of current year, said the minister.

"The aim of the these policies is to provide wireless telephone and mobile telephone to every household in rural India by 2010," the minister stated.
Source: IANS
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