New Delhi: – Internet services will be provided directly from the ISRO’s satellites to the villages at the border, Naxal-affected regions and the villages in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Gram Panchayats of five thousand villages from 15 states will be provided with this facility. The project will be activated under the ‘Bharat Net’ program, by March 2021. The government has appointed Hughes India and Telecommunications Consultant India Limited (TCIL) for the execution of this project
The Hughes Communications, India will be making broadband internet with speeds up to 10 MBPS, available through the GSAT-19, GSAT-11 and Jupiter Systems, to 5,000 Gram Panchayats in the country. Hughes will be installing solar energy powered systems, user terminals and other equipment in the villages located in inaccessible regions. The Gram Panchayats in the villages of the north-eastern states of Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, towns in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the towns in the Naxal-infested regions of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Villages located in the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh region also will have access to the internet.
While tension is reigning between India and China in the Galwan Valley, starting of the internet in that area becomes a significant strategic development. It is also being claimed that the introduction of the internet in the Andaman and Nicobar, and also in the inaccessible region in the north-eastern states, will increase connectivity. Meanwhile, the objective behind the entire exercise is to make economic internet access available to the citizens in the rural sector. The government plans to provide internet to 250,000 Gram Panchayats under the ‘Bharat Net’ program. Therefore, the people in these rural areas will be able to avail all the services.