India has been plagued by problems as it tries to bring connectivity to its millions of citizens in remote villages, but the country's prime minister yesterday (2 July) pledged to make internet access available for all Indians.
As Asia One reports, Narendra Modi made the promise at the launch of India's digital week, with trillions of rupees said to have already been invested by some of the country's richest individuals, which will go towards upgrading the digital infrastructure in India.
Of the 1.25 billion people who live in India, only around 300 million are estimated to have access to the internet. The problem appears to be in extending access to people living in the country's rural areas, with only 9% of remote dwellers able to get online.
However, Modi hopes to change all that by laying 700,000km of broadband cable, thus connecting 250,000 villages – allowing the government to set about digitising as many of its services as possible.
The digital week is not only a means of generating investment, but also allows the government to raise awareness about the internet and popularise usage, in light of its plans.
"While the number of people connected to the internet in India is huge, compared with other countries, so is the number of people with no access to the internet," Modi said.
"I want to make sure every poor Indian is connected to the internet."
India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, who heads conglomerate Reliance Industries and pledged 2.5 trillion rupees, said that going digital "will change the way we live, learn, work and play", adding that it has the potential to change the lives of every single person in the country.
However, there have been concerns raised about execution of the government's plan, with calls for more spectrum and increased competition in the telecoms market.