After years of listening to litanies about the potential of the Internet to transform rural India, by providing remote services in vital areas like education and healthcare, we are finally seeing what could turn out to be a killer solution for the problem in Andhra Pradesh.
According to J C Mohanty, Principal Secretary for IT in Andhra Pradesh government who heads the ambitious project, the rural broadband network is an innovative and revolutionary project with three broad components:
* Electronic delivery of all government services to the people through 6,000 rural IT kiosks to be set up across the state. A team of specially trained rural women to be appointed through self help groups under the rural development department will run the kiosks.
* Computer literacy for at least one person in each family in all Andhra Pradesh villages.
* Broadband connectivity for all villages of Andhra Pradesh spread across the state's 2,75,000 square kilometers by December 2006.
Being touted as a dream project of YS Reddy whose heart supposedly beats for the rural hinterland as against the Cyberabad dreams of his predecessor, we can only hope that whatever the politics, may the project succeed.