"Whatever infrastructure is available today in broadband, much of it is in government sector. Most of it is not being used. Hardly 50-60 percent of capacity is being used," Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said at i-Bharat event organized by industry body FICCI.
"We have to do lot of work even to make this benefit available to the people," he said, inviting suggestions from industry to enhance the use of the broadband infrastructure. “What private and government sector can jointly do to see how we can use most of it, where ever it has reached. At least, it has reached the block level," Garg said.
He added that the government and other stakeholders have to find the reason for under-utilization of broadband by the private sector "whether it is cost, speeds of connectivity or is it devices that are very costly".
Garg said that the government is working to connect all the 2.5 lakh panchayats with high speed broadband network but stakeholders need to ensure that the new infrastructure being laid is utilized by people in the rural areas.
"In coming three years all 2.5 lakh gram panchayat will be connected from their block headquarter with broadband which will give them speed of minimum 100 mbps (megabit per second). If it reaches to villages and it is not used then its maintenance will be also very costly affair," Garg said.
Department of Electronics and IT (DEITY) Joint Secretary Rajendra Kumar said that the government is ready to provide infrastructure required to enhance utilization but still for some reason initiatives have not achieved desired impact.
"Out of 252 planned projects, 222 are operational. It is a success. We now need transformation. There is need to integrate services. We must provide core IT infrastructure on demand in plug and play fashion so that they can focus on operation development and not on creating infrastructure," Kumar said.
The government has plans to set-up National E-governance Academy, knowledge portal on e-governance and enhance usage of social media platform, he added.

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