rurral_broadband

While the Indian Prime Minister keeps raving about the wonders of Digital India, there are still areas in this country which are totally untouched by this social wonder.

"Rural broadband Internet subscriber base is 25.51 million as on March 31, 2015, as reported by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)," said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

This 25.51 million figure stands a tall 73.69 million subscribers for the urban counterparts.

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Karnataka has acquired the top position with the highest number of broadband users in rural areas at 2.77 million users. This was followed by Kerala at 2.52 million and Tamil Nadu at 2.27 million.

The total number of broadband Internet users in India was 99.20 million for the quarter ending March 2015. Out of this, Delhi stood first with the highest number of broadband user base at 8.7 million, followed by Tamil Nadu at 7.56 million and Maharashtra and Goa at 7.44 million.

Poor infrastructure and power supply, combined with low levels of literary and computer penetration are some of the central reasons for low penetration of broadband in Indian rural areas.

"Scarcity of relevant content in local/regional languages and Right of Way permission for laying of optical fibre and poor availability of poor optical fibre connectivity are also some of the issues," added Prasad.

According to Prasad, the government has already been working on getting hold of the situation and had already released funds worth Rs 26.75 crore in 2014-15 for State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG) project.

[Top Image - Claude Renault at Flickr]

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