“Optics to every village”: how India plans to develop network infrastructure

3 min


Last time, we talked about the US plans to modernize IT infrastructure and transfer the entire population of the country to gigabit networks. Today we decided to continue the topic and talk about India’s initiatives. There, providers will lay fiber-optic cables to each of the 650,000 villages in just a thousand days – let us tell you what difficulties they may face. In particular, the project may be hampered by regular power outages in the country and wild monkeys.


/ CC BY / Dollar gill

Global modernization plans

Until 2014 high-speed internet access had only 50 Indian villages. Over the next six years, the situation in the country remained practically unchanged – the number of connections increased by only 7%. However, in August of this year, the Prime Minister of India promised to fix situation and in a thousand days to lay fiber-optic cables to each village (both on the mainland and on the islands) – this is almost 650 thousand settlements.

The project has already begun to be implemented – in mid-August, the largest telecommunications company in India put into operation the first submarine optical cable connecting the city of Chennai with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In the near future, a fiber-optic channel will lay to the island group Lakshadweep.

But there are difficulties

Experts are concerned about the cost of implementing such a project on a tight schedule. Fiber Optic Sweep in India is not cheap – the prices for laying can vary from 13.6 thousand to 180 thousand dollars per kilometer, and the process of obtaining permits takes a long time.

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Also, Internet providers regularly face the problem of monkeys – they gnaw and tear fiber optic cables. Several years ago, engineers laid new lines along the banks of the Ganges. They had to be replaced after just two monthsso quickly the animals rendered them unusable.

In some cases, the problem can be avoided if the wires are buried underground, but according to experts, in densely populated regions this cannot be done – there they are forced to run cables over the surface. At the same time, it is impossible to drive away monkeys or catch them, since they are sacred animals.


/ CC BY / Syed Ahmad

Additional difficulties in the implementation of the plan for the global modernization of the network infrastructure can create regular breaks in power lines on the peninsula. In some regions to end users comes only 38% of all energy produced. At the same time, daily blackouts can last for several hours in a large number of Indian cities.

What’s in other countries

Modernization of the network infrastructure in the near future plan to do and in Japan. Now there are about 660 thousand homes in the country without Internet access – most of them are located in remote regions or on islands. By 2024, the government plans to reduce this figure to 180 thousand – for these purposes, 496 million dollars have already been allocated, which will be directed to support and finance projects of local providers.

Provide the entire population with broadband Internet access until 2033 are planning In Great Britain. According to regulators, the project will take (page 8) about 33 billion pounds. Officials hope the new strategy will spark competition among providers who will fight for the right to bring broadband internet to cities and villages in the country. In sparsely populated areas where it is expensive and unprofitable to pull the cable, the state will provide subsidies.

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