National Broadband Mission is a part of the National Digital Communications Policy, 2018. Indian Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched the mission on 17th December 2019.
As per IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India), India has 451 million monthly active internet users as in March 2019, that is just second to China’s 800 million user base. Out of these total users, a significant share belongs to school children in the age group of 12. Also, the number of female internet users is half of the male users. And the time spent by urban users on the internet is more compared to the rural ones. Around 50,000 villages still lack basic mobile telephony.
This mission aims to connect the country digitally at a faster pace. It will ensure a good quality of service for mobile and internet everywhere. It seeks an investment of about ₹7 lakh crore in the next four years from both government and private sectors. Some funds will also come from the USO Fund and industry in the form of towers and other assets.
Through the mission, the Indian Government promises for broadband access in all villages by the year 2022. National Broadband Mission will make possible fair access to broadband services in the country, especially in rural and remote areas.
Subsequently, the number of towers and the liberalization of towers will be increased. A digital fiber map of the communications system will be created, including the optical fiber cables and towers. This will also result in new employment opportunities.
The underlying aim is to enhance the digital connectivity as well as facilitate digital empowerment across the country.