NEW DELHI, Nov 8 (PTI): “All inhabited villages in the north-eastern region and border areas must be connected with 4G network by December 2023,” Union minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday.
After reviewing the 4G saturation project for providing 4G mobile service to all inhabited villages of the north-east at a meeting here, Rijiju said as telecom revolution is happening, no remote area should remain unconnected and this is the motto of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“By December 2023, all inhabited villages of the north-east and border areas must be connected by the 4G network,” he told PTI.
The Union minister of Law and Justice said the purpose of the meeting was to ensure coordination among different stakeholders, bring all of them onboard and fill the gap if any.
“Reviewed the 4G Saturation project for providing 4G Mobile Service to all inhabited villages of North-East. Secretary, Telecom & officials including from Armed Forces attended. Proper coordination is worked out to complete the project timely as desired by PM,” he tweeted.
Rijiju specially discussed issues related to his home state Arunachal Pradesh.
In February 2022, the government had informed the Parliament that out of 5,97,618 inhabited villages in the country, 25,067 villages lack mobile connectivity and Internet.
Out of 25,067 uncovered villages, around 11,000 villages have been included in Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) schemes, the Parliament was informed.
The remaining villages of the country are covered by the Government and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in a phased manner.
The USOF scheme was launched in 2002 to provide mobile connectivity in uncovered villages and make non-discriminatory access to ICT services affordable to people in remote areas.
About 43 per cent or 11,000 villages included in USOF remain without Internet connectivity.
Further, out of all government WiFi hotspots installed in the country, only 51 per cent of them provide service, according to official data.