BBNL floats BharatNet PPP tender for 3.61 lakh villages

Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), on behalf of Department of Telecommunication (DoT), has invited global tender for the Development (Creation, Upgradation, Operation & Maintenance, and Utilisation) of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model in 9 separate packages across 16 states for a concession period of 30 years.

Under this project, the government will provide a maximum grant of Rs. 19,041 crore as Viability Gap Funding (VGF).

The project shall cover an estimated 3.61 lakh villages (including Gram Panchayats) across Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

BharatNet was connecting all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the country by laying of OFC between Block and GPs. The scope of BharatNet has now been enhanced to connect all 6.43 lakh (inclusive of GPs) inhabited villages of the country.

The scope of work under BharatNet PPP Project includes: Connecting the remaining unconnected GPs under BharatNet project (Phase 1 & Phase 2) and all the inhabited villages beyond the GPs; Upgradation of the existing BharatNet Network from Linear to Ring topology; Operation and Maintenance (O&M); and Utilisation of the existing as well as the newly deployed network. Last date of submission of tender bid is 24th August, 2021.

The project will be executed through a Design, Build, Finance, Operate & Transfer (DBFOT) concession on PPP framework. The idea is to harness the private sector’s capability, capacity, and efficiency for O&M, utilization and revenue generation to make BharatNet more effective and accessible. This would also serve the objective of BharatNet to have social inclusion, through effective delivery of Government schemes and citizen centric services using broadband, and also to strengthen e-Governance, e-Education, Telemedicine,
e-Banking etc.

BBNL is carrying out an open, competitive bidding process with single stage, two-part bidding (Qualification Bid and Financial Bid) for the selection of the bidder for awarding the Project. The bids for each of the packages need to be submitted separately.

Once awarded, the selected Bidder shall create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), sign the agreement, achieve Financial Closure and undertake creation, upgradation, operation & maintenance and utilisation of BharatNet across the concession period.

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