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Centre Announces Steps To Improve Digital Connectivity In Maharashtra

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Centre Announces Steps To Improve Digital Connectivity In Maharashtra

Mr Prasad said the government has also asked India Post to become an active player in the e-commerce segment.

Mumbai:  Reiterating Centre's commitment of 'Digital India', Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today announced a series of plans to improve digital connectivity in Maharashtra

Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted key aspects of the plan which includes proliferation of broadband, Wi-Fi and Next Generation Network across the state.

The government plans to convert four lakh connections into New Generation Network in the current financial year. The network will also be extended to Nagpur, Nasik, Goa, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Kalyan and Nanded. The state-owned BSNL will install 174 Wi-Fi hotspots in 58 cities across Maharashtra.

Speaking of the government's plans, Mr Prasad said, 'Digital India is more for the poor and underprivileged. We want people from all professions, be it a tea vendor, blacksmith or even an electrician, to seek their business through their smartphone and that is happening in India. We want to take it further.'

MTNL is also laying Optical fiber which aims to provide high speed broadband connectivity to 1 lakh homes across Mumbai. 6,000 city surveillance cameras will also be installed at 1800 locations, in collaboration with the Mumbai Police in a shared revenue model. Apart from this, 65 broadband connectivity nodes will be installed to improve the existing broadband speed.

Mr Prasad said the government has also asked India Post to become an active player in the e-commerce segment and the parcel revenue which registered a 2 per cent decline in 2013-14 but registered a growth of 117 per cent by December 2015.

The government also plans to soon start the India Post Payment Bank will soon become a reality. 'India Post is getting very good attention from across the world. Already 40 national and international consortia have evinced interest to partner with the Postal Department for insurance delivery and other financial products' said Mr Prasad.

Taking about the net neutrality debate, the union minister said the Government will take a structured view of the issue after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI releases its report on the matter. However, he stressed on the fact that the internet shouldn't be monopolized by a few.

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