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New Delhi :  “In the coming 1,000 days, every village in the country will be connected with optical fibre cable,” PM Narendra Modi said in his address on the occasion of 74th Independence Day on August 15, 2020.

PM Modi mentioned that before 2014, only 5 dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fiber cable. In the last five years, nearly 1.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country have been connected with optical fiber cable. He said that the participation of rural India and villages in Digital India is very important for balanced development of India. To enable this, we will rapidly expand our optical fibre network. This will reach all the 6 lakh villages within 1,000 days, he added, according to a PIB release.

Expressing his gratitude to the Prime Minister for this important announcement, Electronics & IT and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted, “Today you have entrusted Department of Telecommunications with the responsibility to connect all the villages of India by optical fibre Internet in 1,000 days. It is a game changer for Digital India. With your inspiration we will do it.”

In his Independence Day speech, the PM also announced that in the next 1,000 days, Lakshadweep will be connected with submarine optical fiber cable. “We have around 1,300 islands. Keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance in the development of the nation, work to begin new projects in some of these islands is underway. We have chosen some islands for rapid development. Recently, we connected Andaman and Nicobar Islands with an undersea cable for a better internet. Next, we will connect Lakshadweep,” he said while delivering his speech from the iconic Red Fort.

While commenting on announcement for high speed Internet services in Lakshadweep Islands, Prasad said in a tweet that today Prime Minister set a target of 1,000 days to provide submarine optical fibre connectivity to these islands. Ministry of Communications will fast track this as well, he added.

OFC connectivity to the villages and submarine OFC to the Lakshadeep islands will help the people in rural areas/villages and those in Lakshadweep islands in getting cheaper & better connectivity and all the benefits of Digital India, especially in improving online education, tele-medicine, banking system, online trading, boosting tourism and skill development etc.