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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 2868
ANSWERED ON:  15.12.2021
Mobile Internet Accessibility
Rahul Kaswan
Will the Minister of



COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:-


(a) whether mobile internet accessibility is poor in rural India;

(b) if so, the details thereof as compared to urban areas; and

(c) the steps taken/proposed to be taken by the Government to promote use and accessibility of mobile internet in rural areas of the country?


ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE FOR COMMUNICATIONS
(SHRI DEVUSINH CHAUHAN)

(a) & (b) Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the basis of a survey carried out in 2020, has estimated that about 5,72,551 villages out of 5,97,618 inhabited census villages (as per Census – 2011) of the country have mobile network coverage. Out of 5,72,551 mobile covered villages in the country, 5,58,537 villages have high speed mobile internet through 3G/4G technology.

The total number of mobile internet subscribers in the country as on 30th September 2021 is 808.54 Millions. Out of this, the number of mobile internet subscribers in the rural areas is 334.33 Millions and the number of mobile internet subscribers in the urban areas is 474.22 Millions. Thus, 41.35% of total mobile internet subscribers are in rural areas and 58.65 % in urban areas. In this regard, License Service area (LSA) - wise data of rural/urban mobile internet subscribers as on 30th Sept. 2021, as reported by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), is at Annexure-I.

(c) The Government has the following schemes for expansion of mobile internet in rural and remote areas of the country with support from Universal Service Obligation Fund:

i. Provision of mobile services in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas under Phase-I
ii. Provision of 4G mobile services in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas under Phase-II
iii. Provision of Mobile Services in Uncovered villages in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh (National Highways only) of NER and seamless coverage along National Highway
iv. Provision of 4G Mobile Services in Uncovered villages of Meghalaya and seamless coverage along National Highway
v. Provision of 4G Mobile Services in Uncovered Villages of Arunachal Pradesh and 2 Districts of Assam
vi. Provision of mobile connectivity in 354 uncovered villages of J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Border area & other priority areas
vii. Provision of 4G mobile connectivity in 502 uncovered villages of Aspirational Districts in four States (namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan)
viii. Provision of 4G mobile connectivity in remaining 7,287 Aspirational District villages (Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha)
ix. Provision of 4G Mobile Coverage in 85 uncovered Villages and seamless 4G Mobile coverage of NH-4 (earlier NH-223) in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

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