India announces telecommunication plans to improve connectivity in Meghalaya
On 23 May, the Union Cabinet approved the implementation of the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region (NER) in Meghalaya at an estimated cost of IN ₹3,911 crore (approximately US$572 million); created under the Department of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology, for the provision of telecom services to rural and remote areas at affordable prices.
The approval of the implementation of the CTDP is just one of the key decisions made by the Indian PM in the national capital. They included the provision of mobile connectivity in 96 districts in 10 States and the MoU between India and Angola to promote cooperation in the IT sector, among others.
The official release noted that the plan will be financed by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and the approval of the cost increase of CTDP Project for NER for an amount of INR₹ 8,120.81 crore (approximately US$ 1.18 billion) up from IN ₹5,336.18 crore (approximately US $780.39 million) approved on 9 October, 2014. The move is expected to benefit the people of Meghalaya at large.
The press release outlined what the plan would entail: providing 2G + 4G mobile coverage in uncovered areas identified in the state of Meghalaya, it will also provide faultless mobile coverage 2G + 4G along the national roads in Meghalaya.
The release also noted the plan will strengthen the telecommunications network which will lead to a greater penetration of mobile connectivity in Meghalaya, that will consequently result in affordable and equitable access to communication, information and governance. It will also be able to provide access to the public telephone network that will enable more people in remote areas to benefit from ICT to promote socio-economic development.
With CTDP, the innovative capacity of uncovered areas will increase through broadband access and availability of the Internet.