Internet use surges across rural India

Internet use surges across rural India

CSC e-Governance Services India, a licence holder for the provision of internet services, has claimed a nearly 100 per cent jump in data consumption for rural India in March.

While it is worth taking into account the limitations of rural internet coverage in India, an increase in data consumption to 4.7 terabytes on 30 March from 2.7 TB on 10 March is quite a jump. According to the CSC SPV (special purpose vehicle) CEO Dinesh Tyagi, a major spike in data consumption has been recorded since the time the coronavirus lockdown started.

Besides the surge of data consumption in rural areas, there has been a high demand for fibre to the home (FTTH). Up to March 20, more than 300,000 subscribers registered across 50,000 gram panchayats (village councils) for FTTH, according to the CSC.

CSC also provides Wi-Fi hotspots in around 25,000 gram panchayats, which hundreds of thousands of registered subscribers use as a supplement to their mobile connection.

Common Services Centres (CSCs) are a strategic cornerstone of the Digital India programme. They are the access points for the delivery of various digital services to villages in India, thereby contributing to a digitally and financially inclusive society. CSCs are, according to the government, positioned as change agents, promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods.

There are said to be more than 600,000,000 internet users in India – nearly half of them in rural areas.

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