The Indian government has instructed state-backed operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to bolster connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh amidst national security concerns. The Economic Times quotes a senior Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official as saying that there was ‘virtually zero network coverage in 1,089 villages, many of which are in Arunachal’s border districts, which can pose a huge security threat if not addressed on a war footing.’ Arunachal lies in far north east of India and, along with Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, is almost entirely separated from the rest of the country by the territories of Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. Arunachal Pradesh shares borders with Bhutan, China and Myanmar. BSNL has been ordered to deploy satellite phone terminals in the region by March next year, and has been encouraged to use state-owned energy firm PowerGrid’s transmission links to lay overhead fibre-optic cables to shore up broadband coverage in the state. The telco will also improve 2G and 3G coverage in the region, although no schedule for the development was announced.
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