Broadband to all villages by 2012 - Sachin Pilot

The government is committed to connecting every single panchayat in the country with high-speed Internet in two years, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said. "The commitment of the government of India has been that by 2012, we will connect every single panchayat with high- speed broadband access," he said while speaking at the three-day Bangalore IT. Biz conference, an annual, state-sponsored technology event. IT Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma spoke of the challenge of low broadband connectivity, coupled with high broadband costs, in rural areas. "It's of importance for the government to take the necessary steps to bring down the cost of broadband access as well as ensure functional connectivity up to the panchayat level," Sharma said.
Pilot said that when the panchayats are connected with high-speed broadband, it would result in a paradigm shift in the interface between citizens and the state government, the Centre and local bodies in terms of quicker, faster and transparent delivery of services. Pilot stressed that he does not want see the IT sector as the elitist preserve of the educated class in a few cities. "It's my endeavour to make sure that this image -- the psychological barriers that we have had of the IT sector -- should be broken down," he said. Pilot added: "The real job, the real essence, the real value of the IT sector is not merely in creating investments and earning dollars. If the IT sector can improve the life of the common man, that's the true value"