Addressing the query on the status of the Digital divide in the country, the government on Thursday said that 825 million people can access the internet in the country. It also added that to address the divide between rural and urban India, the government has provided 157,383-gram panchayats with high-speed internet infrastructure.
The electronics and the information technology ministry was responding to a question in Rajya Sabha by Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien on whether “the Government has estimated the latest level of internet penetration or any such proxy”.
He had also asked that “whether there exists a digital divide between rural and urban India at present” and if it does, “(what were) the steps being taken to address this gap?”
In response, minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as of 31st March 2021, there is 82.53 crore (825.301 million) internet subscribers in the country.”
The minister said that over 302 million people were able to access the internet in rural India while over 502 million people accessing the internet in urban India.
He also added that with a “specific objective” to increase internet access in rural India, the government has implemented the BharatNet project in all the gram panchayats and villages of the country. As of July 1, a total of “157,383-gram panchayats have been made service-ready with high-speed internet/ broadband infrastructure”.
He also added that until Wednesday 5,25,706 kilometers of the optical fiber have been laid down across the country.