Centre launches National Broadband Mission, to invest Rs 7 trillion

National Broadband Mission aims at securing universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives across the country and entails stakeholder investment of Rs 7 trillion in the coming years.

Centre launches National Broadband Mission, to invest Rs 7 trillion

Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday (December 17) launched National Broadband Mission (NBM), aimed at securing universal broadband access for implementation of broadband initiatives across the country. The National Broadband Mission entails stakeholder investment of Rs 7 trillion in the coming years.

The minister said that National Broadband Mission will help in providing broadband access to all villages in the country by 2022 and its aim is to implement 50 MB per second internet in a phased manner. The mission, which is a part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018, is also aimed at increasing number of towers to 1 million from 560,000 currently. 

Here are the highlights of National Broadband Mission:

- Broadband access to all villages by 2022
- Facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services for across the country and especially in rural and remote areas
- Laying of incremental 30 lakhs route km of Optical Fiber Cable and increase in tower density from 0.42 to 1.0 tower per thousand of population by 2024
- Significantly improve quality of services for mobile and internet
- Develop innovative implementation models for Right of Way (RoW) and to work with States/UTs for having consistent policies pertaining to expansion of digital infrastructure including for RoW approvals required for laying of OFC
- Develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) to measure the availability of digital communications infrastructure and conducive policy ecosystem within a State/UT.
- Creation of a digital fiber map of the Digital Communications network and infrastructure, including Optical Fiber Cables and Towers, across the country
- Investment from stakeholders of USD 100 billion (Rs 7 Lakh Crore) including Rs 70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
- Address policy and regulatory changes required to accelerate the expansion and creation of digital infrastructure and services
- Work with all stakeholders including the concerned Ministries / Departments/ Agencies, and Ministry of Finance, for enabling investments for the Mission

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According to the Centree, NBM's vision is to fast track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide, facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion and provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.