Public telephone services reach 550,000 villages

August 25th, 2008 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Of India’s 594,000 villages, 550,000 now have telephone connections whether through satellite technology or conventional lines, and 30,500 villages even have broadband cover, the government said Monday.The over 92 percent rural connectivity has been provided by state-run telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) provided connections to about 54,700 villages through the Village Public Telephones (VPTs) mission under the Bharat Nirman Programme, which aims to provide subsidised public telephone facility in rural India, the department said.

The scheme is being carried out as part of the agreement signed between DoT and BSNL in November 2004, and covers all villages except those having population of less than 100, or are located in deep forests, or are insurgency-hit, an official statement said.

The remaining VPTs will be provided by the end of this year, it added.

About 5,000 remotely located villages have been provided with VPT using satellite technology.

The maximum numbers of villages covered under the scheme are in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

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