Optical fiber has been laid in 6,105 of the total 8,392 panchayats in the state during the first phase of the Centre's digital India program to give high speed broadband connectivity to rural people, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said on Sunday.

The work to lay the optical fiber has been undertaken under the aegis of Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), a central government undertaking. While the digital India program was launched on July 2, 2015, its first phase will end by the end of this year. Its second phase will end in 2020. The program aims at providing high speed broadband internet connectivity to rural areas to promote and practice e-governance. It will also provide government services to citizens in the fields of education, health, agriculture and pension, as well as in administrative services.

Modi, who will participate in the conference of the state information technology (IT) ministers in Delhi on Monday, said BBNL has by now covered 354 of the 534 blocks in the state. The execution of the optical fiber laying program has covered around 73 percent of the panchayats of Bihar in the first phase while 2,287 other panchayats (or around 27 percent of the total) remain to be covered.

Modi said the Delhi conference of the IT ministers from states would discuss the state wise achievements made in the execution of the first phase of the digital India program. It would also discuss the difficulties being faced in its implementation in respective states and explore ways and means to overcome the difficulties, Modi added.

As to Bihar, he said, the three-pronged difficulties faced include problems encountered in the maintenance of equipment, power supply and security to the installed equipment. - TOI