It is evident to the whole world India is taking big steps toward complete digitization. Doing so will be quite challenging, though, as over 1 billion people in the country remain disconnected from the Internet. That situation is coming to change thanks to a new project by Prime Minister Modi. The goal is to bring affordable internet to 150,000 Indian villages in the coming years. This is also very positive news for bitcoin adoption in the country.
Connecting Larger Parts of India To The Net
The only viable way to bring internet to more people in India is by making it affordable, yet of a high quality. That is exactly what Prime Minister Modi has planned for the next few years. Bringing high-speed internet to 150,000 villages in the country is the first step of bringing the over one billion offline residents to the World Wide Web. Other countries, even developed regions, could benefit from similar projects as well in the future.
One word that stands out in these plans is “affordable”, which always raises some questions. Considering the average Indian wage is just US$4 – as of 2014 – it is not difficult to see a low-budget solution has to be found. India plans to spend 100 billion rupees – worth US$1.4bn – to take care of rolling out the necessary infrastructure upgrades.
It is not the first and only plan by the Indian government to get more people connected to the internet. A WiFi-oriented project will bring wireless internet to 1,000 villages across India. What is even more intriguing is how this particular WiFi project will offer free internet connectivity to users. It is unclear if users can expect high-speed access, but it is still a positive development for India as a whole.
Companies and philanthropists have tried to bring rural India online, yet failed to do so. Facebook’s recent venture was blocked by the Indian government due to net neutrality violation. So far, the social media giant is not giving up on their plans, though, as they still want to provide cheap WiFi access to the Indian population. Competition in this market is good for the end user, though.
Moreover, Google is trying to gain a foothold in India with their free WiFI services at train stations. Unfortunately, the project has not been off to a good start either, due to some issues occurring when people use these hotspots. It is evident there needs to be a major educational campaign is also in order before these people get their first hands-on internet experience.
In the long run, all of these initiatives will be beneficial to bitcoin adoption in India. The country has shown a growing demand for cryptocurrency, and with more people connected to the internet, that trend will only intensify over the next few years. All things considered, the plans by Prime Minister Modi need to be applauded by the bitcoin community.