Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said that all villages in the northeastern region and border areas will be connected to 4G network by December 2023. He said that telecom revolution is happening in the country, no remote area should be deprived of connectivity and this is also the motto of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Union Minister Rijiju said this while reviewing the 4G Saturation Project to provide 4G mobile service in all the villages of the Northeast. He said that by December 2023, all the inhabited villages in the Northeast and border areas will be connected to 4G network.
He said that the objective of the meeting is to ensure coordination among various stakeholders, to bring them all together and to bridge the gap, if any. Other officials including Secretary, Telecom and Armed Forces also participated in this review meeting. He tweeted that proper coordination has been established for timely completion of the project as desired by the Prime Minister.
In fact, the 4G Saturation Project is being run to provide 4G mobile service in all the inhabited villages of the North-East. Union Minister Rijiju said that in February 2022, the government had informed Parliament that out of 5,97,618 villages in the country, 25,067 villages lack mobile connectivity and internet. At the same time, out of 25,067 villages, about 11,000 villages have been included in Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) schemes. The remaining villages in the country will be covered by the government and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in a phased manner.
The USOF scheme was launched in 2002 to provide mobile connectivity to remote villages and make access to ICT services affordable for people in these areas. About 43 per cent of the 11,000 villages included in the USOF do not have internet connectivity. Furthermore, as per official data, only 51 per cent of all government WiFi hotspots installed in the country provide service.