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Enabling Rural Connectivity for the World

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Rural Connectivity for the World

Our lives have been radically transformed in a single lifetime. Consider this – In 2000, less than 7% of the world population had Internet access. And wow, how things have changed! Check-out these cool factoids.

  • In 2020 there were approximately 7.7 billion people living on the planet, and over 35 billion devices connected to the Internet – that’s an average of 10 devices per household.
  • The average person now spends nearly 7 hours a day using the Internet.
  • Twenty-six smart objects are located near every human on earth.
  • 4.32 billion people use their mobile devices to go online.
  • In just 25 years back we went from the 1st documented online purchase to more than 26% of the world shopping online in 2020.
  • As of December 31, 2021, there are over 5.25 billion active internet users across the world. If you are wondering how many countries have internet access, this number increases by the day, but there are still over 2.7 billion people with no internet access.

Today, Internet penetration has reached more than half the global population. The operative word is “reached” by only half. There’s no denying how transformational the Internet is and how digital technology has become the foundation of our economies and lives. The power of digital will create new business opportunities and productivity gains that can be reinvested in economies, potentially adding $13 trillion to global GDP by 2030.

And if digital is the backbone of the world’s healthiest economies, even these developed, industrialized countries are not all connected. There’s typically a range of 15-35%, of rural residents, many of which do not have broadband. This is a global challenge affecting individual nations and our global economy to drive welfare for all people and the planet as we become more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Many countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, etc. still have a majority of their population that has never been exposed to the Internet. In some countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Papua New Guinea, close to 90% of the population is not using the Internet while internet penetration has reached 62% globally.

Rural connectivity is critical to a nation’s growth

Seamless connectivity of rural communities can trigger a greater social transformation. We call it ‘Digital Inclusion’. Reliable broadband is crucial to the success of many government initiatives created to improve social inclusion, infrastructure, and affordability.

Major economies have recognized this and are taking action.

Enabling Rural Connectivity for the World

These are lofty initiatives requiring collaboration from Governments and private equity investors to design, build and operate these networks. This can be done if the government and private players come together and if deep fiberization is a basic requirement. This is where we come in. We plan, design, deploy and manage high-capacity converged fibre and wireless networks. STL helps expand rural connectivity at a faster pace.

We’ve done it by making way for a connected India with BharaNet. If all goes to plan, by 2025, more than half a billion rural Indians will have access to the internet at 100 Mbps, pushing the national literacy rate by 6%.

Building limitless connectivity for digital inclusion

STL has rich experience in large-scale system integration projects under challenging topographies and an understanding of how digital technology can transform lives. This helped us understand the need for customised connectivity products and the deployment challenges the rural areas present. Considering this, we designed a model hinging on connectivity and developed new network architectures with a strategic focus on R&D.

Seamless disbursal of government schemes and benefits, valuable use cases for adoption by rural communities, and humanising the digital technology for mass adoption made up the strategic pillars of our project. The model was designed with the aim to achieve hyper-scale network modernisation with a 360-degree approach. Grounded in this purpose, we always have an eye on innovation and know-how to connect more people, faster, and at a lesser cost.

To that effect, we have developed pFTTx, an SDN solution that brings programmability to the centre of the networks. pFTTx offers scalability and better network controls that significantly reduces the time to market for new digital services so that service providers can bring service excellence and enable digital transformation at the edge.

This winning combination will eventually

  1. Dilute the digital divide and provide an ecosystem for easier access to markets, finance, education, and healthcare resources
  2. Lead to a 3x deployment speed
  3. Connect 7.5 mn people and 4,045 villages

We, at STL, believe that digital connectivity will be a journey for us till it connects every human on the planet. Please share your visions for that future and your ideas on what can help us all get there together.

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