The Department of Telecom will float tenders by this year-end for rolling out wi-fi service to gram panchayats as part of the BharatNet project, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan has said.
With the floating of the tenders, DoT is expecting to link 1.25 million wi-fi hotspots, Sundararajan told PTI here.
“Our aim is to ensure that BharatNet reaches every citizen in the country,” she said.
“By the end of the year, we will be putting out our wi-fi tenders for the rollout of wi-fi service to village panchayats,” she further said.
Under the project, as many as 1.16 lakh gram panchayats are service-ready and about 70,000-gram panchayats are regularly accessing services, Sundararajan said.
Under the new telecom policy, the Central government has plans to increase the availability of regular Internet access facility to 70 crore people by 2022 from the present 30 crore.
BharatNet project is the new brand name of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) which was launched in October 2011 to provide broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats.