The state government of Andhra Pradesh launched India's first "AP FiberNet" broadband project in Visakhapatnam Thursday as a part of PM Narendra Modi-led Digital India campaign. AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the first phase of Fiber Grid project, which provides broadband connectivity at an affordable price.
The state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cisco in order to boost local innovation, research and economic competition across the state. Under the new broadband plan, household connections will cost Rs 149 per month for 15Mbps, while office will get 100Mbps at Rs 999 per month, CM Naidu tweeted.
"Digital transformation has emerged as the most transformative means to ignite sustainable growth and improve society," Naidu said in a statement, according to Voice&Data. "My vision for the state is to digitally empower every citizen, enhance quality of life of citizens, accelerate economic competitiveness, boost local innovation and become a knowledge and technology hub of the country. Digital Andhra Pradesh is a step towards realising that vision."
The Fiber Grid project in AP will reach the districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram by April, while covering the rest of the state by the end of July. The government aims to connect 1.3 crore households through its AP FiberNet broadband project. Naidu said during the launch that AP was the first digital state in the country, according to the New Indian Express.
Cisco executive chairman John T Chambers echoed Naidu's sentiments on the importance of digitiaation to create jobs and develop educated workforce.
"The state of Andhra Pradesh is leading the digital transformation in India," Chambers said. "We are excited to collaborate with the government to build an infrastructure that gives the citizens of Andhra Pradesh access to employment & inclusion, innovation opportunities, educational outcomes, healthcare delivery and smart city services."