The Ministry of Communications has launched the ‘National Broadband Mission’ that will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.

  • The Mission is part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.
  • The vision of the Mission is to fast-track the growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide, facilitate digital empowerment and inclusion, and provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.
  • It can be noted that through BharatNet, broadband services have reached in as many as 142,000 village blocks, and the latest mission aims to offer broadband for all by 2022 including remotely-located hospitals, schools and post offices.

Key Features

Some of the objectives of the Mission which are structured with a strong emphasis on the three principles of universality, affordability, and quality are:

  • Broadband access to all villages by 2022.
  • Significantly improve the quality of services for mobile and internet.
  • Develop a Broadband Readiness Index (BRI) to measure the availability of digital communications infrastructure and a conducive policy ecosystem within a State/UT.
  • Creation of a digital fiber map of the Digital Communications network and infrastructure, including Optical Fiber Cables and Towers, across the country.
  • Laying of incremental 30 lakhs route km of Optical Fiber Cable and an increase in tower density from 0.42 to 1.0 tower per thousand of the population by 2024.
    • The Centre will work with States and UTs for having consistent policies pertaining to the expansion of digital infrastructure including for Right of Way (RoW) approvals required for laying of optical fiber cable.
  • Investment from stakeholders of Rs 7 Lakh Crore including Rs 70,000 crore from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Also read: Maritime Communication Services

National Broadband Mission (NBM)