Telecom major, Bharti Airtel has partnered with the Department of Telecom (DoT) to pilot broadband experience centres in rural areas. The aim is to boost broadband penetration in rural India using the BharatNet infrastructure.

As part of the partnership, Airtel has set up broadband experience centres in three villages of Ghazipur, Gorakhpur and Varanasi districts of Uttar Pradesh. Airtel is providing 100 mbps connectivity to these centers, the company said.

Through these centres, citizens and local entrepreneurs will be able to experience high speed broad connectivity in their areas. Additionally, they will be able to access online government services like e-governance, e-health, e-banking and more.

These centres, in future will also be used to demonstrate advanced technologies, cases around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).

The telecom service provider said in a statement that it is already committed to partner with BharatNet in up to 30,500 Gram Panchayats. It has joined hands with with Jiva Ayurveda (Online Health consultations), Takshilla E-Learning Services (Educational Content Services), and Amazon (for Amazon Echo smart speakers) to provide digital & web based services.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “Access to broadband is a key enabler of inclusive economic growth and social wellbeing of rural inhabitants. We are pleased to support the commendable initiatives by the DoT to ensure broadband access for every Indian and in particular building the infrastructure backbone under BharatNet. The Broadband Experience Centers established by Airtel in partnership with DoT riding on BharatNet infrastructure will will open the doors to the digital world for millions of Indians and unlock several exciting opportunities for them.”

Jayshree Gururaj, Director - Amazon Devices, said, “Early access to technology, content and the Internet has the proven potential to enrich lives. It breaks down barriers of technical know-how and language. We are pleased to collaborate with Airtel and DoT to introduce users in Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Varanasi with the latest in voice technology from Amazon Echo smart speakers”.

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