Final Phase of BharatNet Project to be Completed by March 2019

CIOReview Team | Wednesday, 17 October 2018, 05:26 IST

TelecomBharatNet project which is in its second phase is expected to be completed by March 2019. The project aims to extend high-speed broadband connectivity infrastructure to remaining 1.25 lakh gram panchayats out of 2.5 lakh, taking it forward after the completion of first phase. “The objective of this flagship project of our government is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking and other services to citizens in every part of our country, on a non-discriminatory basis. We have completed approximately 50 percent of the project, and the remainder is targeted for completion by March 2019,” said Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha to PTI. The minister was inaugurating the new BBNL corporate office, spread over 36,597 sq ft, which has a designated area where students from academic institutions can get a glimpse of BharatNet. Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary - Telecom, who was present on the occasion, added, “The consolidation of BBNL operations in this new office has come at the right time – when the focus of the organization is expanding from implementation, to also cover critical areas such as utilization and maintenance of the BharatNet infrastructure.”

In the first phase of BharatNet implementation, the target of completing 100,000 GPs was achieved in December 2017. The second phase is planned to connect the remaining 150,000 GPs, using an optimal mix of media, by March 31, 2019. It is being implemented through three models – state-led model, CPSU model, and private sector model. In addition, provision has been made for last mile connectivity in all 250,000 GPs through viability gap funding. Every GP shall have on an average five Wi-Fi Access Points (APs), including three APs (on average) for public institutions such as educational centres, health centres, post offices, police stations, etc. A tender for provisioning of Wi-Fi services has been floated by BBNL, after consultation with Telecom Service Providers and Internet Service Providers, for wider participation. BharatNet is being utilized by BSNL, CSC SPV, TSPs and ISPs for delivery of services at Gram Panchayats. BSNL has provisioned Wi-Fi hotspots at 1,742 GPs and FTTH connections at 13,513 GPs in various states.   

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