25 lakh govt. institutions and 50 lakh households to be linked to BharatNet

By 2020 about 25 lakh government institutions and 50 lakh households will be linked to BharatNet said Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecom during BharatNet Phase II conference.

Speaking on the occasion, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary, Department of Telecom said, “BharatNet Phase – 1 is nearing its completion by December 2017 where one lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) covering 3 lakh villages will see the roll-out of broadband services. The Phase – 2 of the project is 100 percent Made in India right from fibre to design to software everything has been spearheaded by C-DoT.

The Union Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha said that government will provide all the necessary and requisite support for fulfilling the dream of a fully connected and truly empowered India very soon.

He informed that for 125,000 GPs in Phase-I, the duct/pipe has already been laid in 110,368 GPs, OFC laid in 103,275 GPs, equipment installed in 85,506 GPs, service ready in 75,082 GPs and service opened in 47,836 GPs. The progress of service readiness has picked up to such an extent that in October, 2017 around 25,000 GPs have already been made service ready.

The minister exhorted that every one of us – the state governments, private sector players, TSPs, Internet and digital services companies, media, academia, civil society and change makers need to work together for making it a success.

BharatNet involves connecting all 250,000 gram panchayats (GPs) in the country to the block headquarters for provision of both bandwidth and dark fiber on a universal and non-discriminatory basis. The network is capable of providing scalable bandwidth of up to 1 GBPS. The provision of broadband & internet penetration and e-services will have a positive impact on GDP growth besides quicker, transparent and cost effective governance.

For the purpose of implementation, the Bharatnet project covering all 250,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) was divided in to Phase – 1 and Phase – 2.

Based on positive response from various states the proposals of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu were approved by Telecom Commission in September 2017. The minister complimented the states which provided a detailed project report (DPR) on time and extended their full support in resolving the technical, commercial and financial issues, which are common in projects of this nature, size, scale, scope and magnitude.

The major users of this network are the telecom service providers, ISPs, MSOs, LCOs etc which will use the Bharatnet for provision of broadband and extending the mobile network in the rural and remote areas.

An important and critical stakeholder and end user of this network are the government ministries, departments & state governments and various citizen centric services such as e-health, e-education, e-medicine, etc.

Keeping in view the government’s aim to provide affordable digital services in rural areas, the tariffs for utilising BharatNet infrastructure have been reduced by up to 75 per cent of earlier notified tariffs. Owing to this, the telecom companies including Airtel, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular and Vodafone have come forward for providing connectivity services utilising BharatNet infrastructure. States have also been encouraged to work on such utilization models.