Digital India mission keen on it BharatNet venture

Phase 2 of 34000 crore BharatNet begins today

Phase 2 of 34000 crore BharatNet begins today

With an aim to provide high-speed broadband in all panchayats by March 2019, Department of Telecom is organizing a National Conference with the State Governments and Service Providers on Today. "With BharatNet we hope to touch several lives", Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said while addressing the people during the launch.

Sundararajan said the total project cost of BharatNet was around Rs 45,000 crore, of which Rs11,200 crore have been used for the first phase.

Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Shankar Prasad described the launch of Phase II as a turning point to bring digital revolution that would bridge the digital divide between rural and urban India.

He said, based on positive response from various states the proposals of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Tamil Nadu were approved by Telecom Commission in September 2017.

In line with its mission to make India digital the Government of India is planning to offer Dollars 550.2 million subsidy to private telecom companies through viability gap funding, in a bid to connect gram panchayats via Internet as part of the second phase of BharatNet.

The DoT had significantly increased the pace of implementation during the last six months to complete Phase I, and by December 2017, all 1, 00, 000 gram panchayats will be on the BharatNet infrastructure. To expedite the rollout of the second phase, the central government will also be providing partial funding to the local governments of these states.

Sinha said the government has slashed bandwidth price under the BharatNet project 75%, which will help telecom operators provide services at affordable rates.

The Government has proposed a subsidy of Rs 3,600 crore (as part of BharatNet Phase II) to private telecom firms such as Bharati Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio through viability gap funding. He said that the National Optical Fiber Network (NoFN) (now renamed as BharatNet) project was launched in 2012 with the approval of Union Cabinet provided in Oct, 2011. The first phase to connect 100,000 gram panchayats is already underway, and after much delays will be completed by the end of this year.

Phase II of the project will set up Wi-Fi in every village, for which tender will be floated soon.

BSNL will roll out optical fibre in eight states-Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim. "We expect telecom operators to provide at least 2 megabit per second speed to rural households". The last mile connectivity to citizens was proposed to be provided creating Wi-Fi hotspots in gram panchayats. Some of the Wi-Fi hotspots may not be commercially viable initially.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.