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All-round Internet connectivity by mid-2011
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All 100,000 Common Service Centres will be covered

A senior official of the Department of Information Technology (DIT) of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said here on Thursday that all the 100,000 Common Service Centres (CSC) rolled out across India under the National e-Governance Plan would be provided with Internet connection by mid-2011 for smooth functioning.

Speaking to media persons at a function organised by the Eastern Railway on the occasion of the arrival of the Commonwealth Express at the Kolkata station, Ashis Sanyal, Senior Director of the Department of IT, said that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has been asked to provide “CSC-wise connectivity — either wireless or wireline” within the stipulated time.

Out of its eleven coaches, the Commonwealth Express is carrying six coaches dedicated to the DIT.

Various dimensions and perspectives of the evolution of information, communication and technology since the days of smoke signal have been put on display in the six coaches.

Survey

“We have already done a Geographic Information Systems survey to ascertain how many CSCs come within the coverage area of BSNL exchanges and towers. Those in the vicinity of the exchanges will be given wireline connections and those near a BSNL tower will be given wireless connection through WIMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access),” Mr. Sanyal said.

He added that 20,000 BSNL exchanges have already been upgraded for the purpose of providing wireline connections to 30,000 to 32,000 CSCs.

Rural India's scope

Pointing out that 5,092 out of the 6,797 CSCs proposed to be set up in West Bengal have already started functioning, Mr. Sanyal said that rural India was fast becoming the target platform for the IT industry thanks to its enormous scope for proliferation.

“The agriculture sector, too, will be enormously benefited with the National Broadband Plan as they can access information related to weather, seed prices as well as market prices of crops from the CSCs,” he said.

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