Covid-19 effect: Karnataka sees spike in internet usage in rural areas

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on June 09, 2020

A representative image   -  Representative Image: Reuters

After the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in use of the internet in rural areas.

“Rural areas registered an increase of 35-40 per cent in use of the internet during the lockdown in the last two to three months,” said Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan.

BharatNet had already increased use of internet in rural areas, now we will give more stress to provide quality net service at a good speed, he added.

There are 93,834 subscribers to BharatNet and had used 30,239 GB between January and May. This is the highest in recent years.

“I reviewed the progress of the BharatNet implementation and the steps to be taken to improve the quality of internet connectivity in the next two to three months,” said Narayan.

Through a video conference with heads of different agencies and officials on improving the quality of internet in rural areas, the minister said: “We also discussed the possibility of giving the implementation of BharatNet to a different agency. We will seek permission from the Central government and continue the project.”

“We will ease communication with rural people by ensuring quality and high speed internet to all Gram Panchayats,” he added.

BSNL officials and other agency representatives who attended the video conference explained problems faced by them. “I have assured them to solve their problems through proper coordination,” Narayan said.

“Through BharatNet, several government schemes are being implemented in rural areas. Civic Service Centres are issuing birth and death certificates, Aadhaar, social security pensions among others. Of the total 6,000 Gram Panchayats in the State, 4,000 have good high speed internet connectivity. Remaining will be provided with better internet connectivity through a new agency,” he said.

Published on June 09, 2020

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