Bharti Airtel said it will be piloting Broadband Experience Centres utilizing BharatNet infrastructure.
Airtel said its Broadband Experience Centres will come up in three villages in Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh. Airtel has already committed to partner with BharatNet in up to 30,500 Gram Panchayats.
“The Broadband Experience Centers established by Airtel in partnership with DoT riding on BharatNet infrastructure will will open the doors to the digital world for millions of Indians and unlock several exciting opportunities for them,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said.
The strategy of Airtel India is to boost broadband penetration in rural India and improve customer experience of its Internet users.
These broadband centres will offer high speed broadband connectivity to citizens and local entrepreneurs. Customers can get access to use cases relating to e-governance, e-health and e-banking and e-commerce and much more.
Airtel said these centres will also demonstrate advanced technologies and use cases around Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things.
Airtel is providing 100 mbps connectivity to these centers through infrastructure provided under DoT’s BharatNet program.
Airtel has joined hands with Jiva Ayurveda (Online Health consultations), Takshilla E-Learning Services (Educational Content Services), and Amazon (for Amazon Echo smart speakers) for providing other digital and web based services.
Department of Telecom aims to connect 2.5 Lakh gram panchayat villages with optical fiber connectivity as part of BharatNet project. The project envisages the extension of optical fiber from block head quarter to the gram panchayat level.
The India government has connected one lakh villages with optical fiber for providing broadband in rural areas in the first phase. The second phase of the project aims at connecting the remaining 1.5 lakh gram panchayats by March 2019.