Parl panel suggests govt provide better mobile telecom service
New Delhi: Citing that several areas in naxal-affected districts did not have mobile network coverage, a parliamentary panel has suggested to the government to bridge the digital gap in the country by providing better telecom services.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in its draft report on transformation towards digital economy noted that urgent and earnest efforts were required to improve the quality of telecom services in the country.
"The quality of telecom coverage in the country is unevenly distributed, as 95 per cent, 75 per cent and 60 per cent population is covered by 2G, 3G and 4G spectrum respectively," the report said.
During the finalisation of the report, members strongly objected to the fact that there were still areas in the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts that were not covered by even 2G network services.
"Digital transformation of the economy is not possible without basic 2G mobile services and state-run firms such as BSNL should play a more active role in it," BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said during the meeting.
In the report, the committee has recommended urgent and earnest efforts by the Centre, state governments and the industry to vastly improve the quality of telecom and provide coverage evenly so that the digital divide is bridged in the country.
It is necessary to be truly inclusive in such an effort, the panel said.
The report also emphasised that the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) should be fully deployed, particularly with public sector telecom companies for extending mobile and internet penetration.
The fund should be utilised for delivering digital services to the hitherto areas with no telecom coverage, it said.