All villages to have optical fibre in 1,000 days: Modi

All villages to be connected with optical fibre in next 1,000 days: PM Modi

Prime Minister Modi at the Red Fort on the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day. Credits - PTI

Every village in the nation will be connected with optical fibre in coming 1,000 days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

In his Independence Day speech, the prime minister said only five dozen village panchayats were connected with optical fibre before 2014. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. In the coming 1,000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fibre, he said.

The prime minister, who launched the submarine Optical Fibre Cable between Chennai and Port Blair, said similar optical fibre will also be laid to connect Laxshadweep also.

Aimed at providing internet connectivity to all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs), Bharat Net programme has picked up pace in recent years but it is still running behind the schedule.

The project, which initially began as the National Optical Fibre Network in October 2011, has been delayed for over 92 months now. The government fixed the new deadline in August 2021.

As on January this year, against the target of providing last-mile connectivity to 1.5 lakh gram panchayat (GPs), only about 7.45 percent were completed. Against the target of 3.11 lakh km of optical fibre cable laying, only about 92,283 km of the cable was laid down, as of December end.

The Centre has been seeking states to support Bharat Net scheme and it has requested them to examine the right of promoting the development of a robust telecom network.