The Department of Telecom is likely to float tender in about a week for rolling out Wi-Fi services in all the village panchayats by 2019 with an outlay of around Rs 3,700 crore, an official source said. The government expects to start broadband services with about 1,000 megabit per second or 1 Gbps across 1 lakh gram panchayats by the end of this year under the project.
“The tender details will be finalised this week. It will be issued immediately. The plan is to roll out Wi-Fi service in 1 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) in a year and in the rest by 2019,” a senior DoT officer who did not wished to be named told PTI. At 1 Gbps, a user can theoretically download a video equivalent to the size of a general Bollywood movie in about 2 seconds.
The Wi-Fi rollout will ride over Bharat Net project and rest of the hotspots will be linked to it later. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had earlier said the government has expedited commissioning of broadband services under BharatNet by seven times in August from around 150 installations a day to 800 installations of electronic equipment a day. Under the new telecom policy, the government has plans to increase availability of regular Internet access facility to 70 crore people, from 30 crore, by 2022.