Rural areas registered an increase of 35 to 40% in use of the internet during the lockdown in the last two to three months, CN Ashwath Narayan was quoted as saying.

Spike in internet use in rural areas during COVID-19 lockdown Karnataka Dy CM
news Lockdown Wednesday, June 10, 2020 - 08:34

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan on Tuesday said there has been a spike in use of the internet in rural areas during the COVID-19 induced lockdown period.

Rural areas registered an increase of 35 to 40% in use of the internet during the lockdown in the last two to three months, he was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

"There are 93,834 subscribers to BharatNet and had used 30,239 GB between January and May. This is the highest in recent years," he said.

The DCM also said internet connectivity, provided under the government of India's BharatNet project, in rural areas will be improved in the next two to three months.

"I reviewed the progress of the BharatNet implementation and the steps to be taken to improve the quality of internet connectivity in the next two to three months.

We also discussed the possibility of giving the implementation of BharatNet to a different agency. We will seek permission from the Central government and continue the project," Narayan said.

The DCM, who is also in-charge of IT, BT and Science and Technology, today held a video conference with heads of different agencies and officials on improving the quality of internet in rural areas.

BSNL officials and other agency representatives, who attended, explained problems faced by them, and Narayan assured them that their issues would be solved through proper coordination, the release said.

Noting that through BharatNet, several government schemes are being implemented in rural areas, Civic Service Centres are issuing birth and death certificates, Aadhar, social security pensions, among others, the DCM said, of the total 6,000 Gram Panchayats in the state, 4,000 have good high speed internet connectivity.

Remaining will be provided with better internet connectivity through a new agency, he said.

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