Begin typing your search...

‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project ushers in a digital Meghalaya

‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project ushers in a digital Meghalaya

‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project ushers in a digital Meghalaya

As 2023 was drawing to a close, Meghalaya, the small picturesque and tranquil state, quietly took a significant step in embracing the digital economy. In a significant leap towards enhancing digital connectivity, the government of Meghalaya, on the last day of the year, successfully commissioned the Tura Link, providing a robust 100 Mbps internet connection. This ground-breaking initiative, spearheaded by the IT & C Department, marks a pivotal step in the state’s ambitious ‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project, ensuring that every citizen can benefit from the advantages of a digitally connected world. Embracing the digital economy always presented significant challenges for the state, known as the ‘Abode of Clouds’. The challenges can be grouped into two categories: readiness and operational challenges. Readiness challenges pertain to the preparedness of state agencies in facilitating the development of digital and telecom infrastructure, ensuring a speedy and timely rollout of digital connectivity across the state. The recent achievement of establishing a 100 Mbps link to Tura serves as proof for the state’s commitment to foster connectivity across regions, despite the challenges that state’s geography brings.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma minces no word in airing his government’s commitment to ensuring that the benefits of the digital age reach every citizen, towards which the ‘Last Mile Connectivity’ project is a crucial step. The state government is hopeful of further collaborations as it continues to work towards transforming the digital landscape of the state, fostering economic growth and enhancing the overall quality of life of the people. One has to keep in mind that the absence of reliable internet in Garo Hills posed significant challenges, affecting essential tasks and hindering sectors like education and healthcare. The Tura Link has now eradicated these issues. With 100 Mbps connectivity, residents can download crucial documents, businesses operate efficiently, and transactions, including bill payments will be seamless. The key stakeholders in this transformative endeavour include Powertel, a subsidiary of the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), and Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL). Both PSUs have played significant roles in advancing this ambitious project, which not only bridges the digital gap but also assures the socio-economic development in Garo Hills.

The digital transactions in FY2022-23 (up to March 31) show that on an average Rs. 3360 per BHIM / UPI account transaction during the year. As on date, 6459 census villages (Census-2011) in Meghalaya 772 villages have no mobile coverage, which implies that 12 per cent of the villages are uncovered. This only constitutes 1,79,228 population, which is about 6.04 per cent of the total population. Based on these figures, it can be said that in today’s digital age, mere connectivity is no longer sufficient; it is meaningful connectivity that holds the key to economic growth and prosperity. Universal and meaningful connectivity, defined as the ability for everyone to access a safe, satisfying, enriching, productive, and affordable online experience, has emerged as a critical imperative for the ‘Decade of Action’ spanning from 2020 to 2030. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified three key challenges that must be addressed during this transformative period: closing the coverage gap, closing the usage gap and achieving universal and meaningful connectivity. If Meghalaya comes forward, can other smaller states with similar difficulties terrain be far behind?

Bizz Buzz
Next Story
Share it