Let satellites terminate patchy internet coverage

Source: The post is based on the article “Let satellites terminate patchy internet coverage” published in Mint on 28th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology

Relevance: expanding role of ISRO and digital connectivity

News: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has recently placed 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit.

What does this signify for India?

The satellites were placed in orbit using LVM-3 as a satellite launch vehicle. This has proved the reliability of the launch vehicle.

Further, the mission has also earned the reputation for the Indian space agency globally, because of the lower cost it offered for the mission.

About OneWeb Satellites

Read Here: ISRO puts 36 OneWeb satellites in orbit

OneWeb plans on launching services in India this July or August. It could extend the internet to parts of the country that either remain deprived of access or suffer poor connectivity.

India must utilize this opportunity and make the internet accessible in the remotest area.

What steps have been taken by India to promote digital connectivity?

The Digital India Program is one of the steps towards promoting digitization.

The government is also coming up with a spectrum policy. However, concerns such as allocation or auction of airwaves, revenue generation, etc., still remain with the policy.

Whatever be the case, India would need transparency in its policy and not let delays arise from indecision. Because it would be unfortunate if other factors held India back from expanding the internet while technology is present.

What is the way ahead?

Even though India has earned a reputation worldwide for launching OneWeb satellites, the concerns of internet shutdowns in India still remain. For example, last year, India had more internet shutdowns than any other country.

Therefore, India must achieve the promise of full access reliability in order to fulfil its digital dreams. This means that internet connectivity should not be cut unless there is an extreme national emergency.

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