GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
STARRED QUESTION NO. 84
ANSWERED ON NOVEMBER 28, 2014
Access to Internet Services
*84. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY bepleased to state:
(a) the number of people in the country currently not having access to the internet;
(b) whether studies have alluded to illiteracy being a major hurdle for internetpenetration, if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the Digital India strategy has taken this into account; and
(d) if so, the strategy of the programme to deal with this challenge and ensureinternet penetration and access?
THE MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD)
(a)to(d): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT TO BE LAID ON THE TABLE OF THE RAJYA SABHA IN RESPECTOF PARTS (a) TO (d) OF RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 84 FOR 28thNOVEMBER, 2014 REGARDING "ACCESS TO INTERNET SERVICES"
(a): Sir, as per the information provided by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI), there are 25.44 crore Internet subscriber, as on 30.09.2014.
(b) Apart from illiteracy, the other impediments hindering the growth of Internet/broadband services in the country are:
(i) low PC penetration
(ii) high cost of Customer Premises Equipment
(iii) lack of local content
(iv) poor power supply
(v) high backhaul cost
(vi) difficulty in laying of Optical Fiber Networks due to issues related to Rightof Way Clearances & high cost of Right of Way charges
(vii) lack of interest in private operators for Internet/broadband network expansion in rural areas being non-remunerative
(c) & (d) Yes Sir. Government has launched the "Digital India" programme with avision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy.The programme aims to provide the much needed thrust to certain growth areas,namely broadband highways, access to mobile connectivity, access to public internet, e-Education,e-Governance, electronic delivery of services and electronic manufacturing."Digital India" programme envisions three key vision areas:
(i) Digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen
(ii) Governance and services on demand
(iii) Digital empowerment of citizens
Under "Digital Empowerment of Citizens", the key focus areas include making allefforts to ensure universal digital literacy in the country and availability of digitalresources/services in Indian languages.
Broadband Highways is one of the nine pillars of "Digital India" programme whichaims to provide high speed connectivity at Gram Panchayat level. Under this pillar,Broadband for All (Rural) and Broadband for All (Urban) are key components.Broadband for All (Urban) aims at leveraging virtual network operators for servicedelivery and mandating communication infrastructure in new urban development andbuildings.