National Broadband Mission (NBM)
Digital Connectivity is a key factor for holistic growth across sectors. Enabling Broadband connectivity across the country is essential to bridge the Digital divide between rural-urban and rich-poor. This will also promote e-governance, transparency, financial inclusion and ease of doing business. It has led to socio-economic development of citizens across developing and developed economies.
For India, the connectivity is the key requirement across all infrastructure sectors such as water, electricity, communication, gas, highways, ports, airports etc. The Indian telecommunications sector has historically been a strong performer and more so in the recent past where it has witnessed a higher growth.
As of September,2020 the broadband penetration in India stood at 720.18 million, an increase of over 100% since the introduction of the first 4G networks in the country in 2015. During the same period, the wireless data app usage is now approximately 12 GB per subscriber per month. The quantum jump in broadband subscribers has catapulted India to be the largest consumer of mobile data in the world, overtaking USA and China in peak consumption. While the significant coverage of 4G is now a reality, there is still room to grow, and strengthen the underlying infrastructure. It is also important that such universal access to broadband is affordable and of high quality.
National Digital Communications Policy – 2018 (NDCP-18) recognizes digital communications infrastructure and services as key enablers and critical determinants of India’s growth and well-being. One of the objectives of NDCP-18 is to provision ‘Broadband for All’ so that the resulting benefits of wide-spread, equitable and inclusive growth are enjoyed by all. The policy aims to empower citizens by effectively bridging the digital divide. In order to realise the objectives of the NDCP, the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications has launched ‘National Broadband Mission’ with the vision to fast track growth of digital communications infrastructure, bridge the digital divide for digital empowerment and inclusion, provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.