With only 2% of its villages still without access to high-speed broadband (3G or higher), Karnataka is one of the fastest performing states in rural internet connectivity. Ninety-four percent of towns in the country and 98 percent in Karnataka have access to high-speed broadband.
According to data from the ministry of communications and IT, Punjab, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Tamil Nadu rank higher than Karnataka among the 14 central states Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Delhi, and Rajasthan, among others, rank lower. On a national scale, 37,439 of the 5.9 lakh census villages that are populated lack access to high-speed broadband.
Six hundred eight of Karnataka's 27,397 villages are not related. Although most villages are linked via 3G or 4G, India is working to connect at least 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) to optic fiber via the Bharat-Net program, which is still in its infancy, and not all GPs have been covered.
EV Ramana Reddy, additional chief secretary, Karnataka, stated: "While most villages now have internet access via connectivity provided by telecom firms, the state's e-governance department is implementing the Bharat-Net scheme." Separate data obtained from the telecom and information technology ministry indicates that just 1.5 lakh of the 2.5 lakh general practitioners targeted under Bharat-Net have connections to optic fiber. In comparison, 6,247 of the 6,268 villages targeted in Karnataka now have fiber optic connectivity.
As previously estimated by TOI, the number of internet connections in India would surpass 75 million in August 2021, nearly 25 years since the service was made available to the public on August 15, 1995. The majority of connections are in urban areas and are made available through wireless devices such as cell phones and dongles. Furthermore, five states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana), Gujarat, and Maharashtra — collectively account for 26 crores or 35% of all internet connections. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, there will be 74.9 crore internet links — narrowband (5 crores) and broadband (69.2 crores) combined — by the end of June 2021. Separate statistics for broadband indicate that over 71 crore links will be available by the end of August 2021.
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