ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 20, 2017


BharatNet-2 launch to connect 1.5 lakh panchayats

14 November 2017, 04:48 | Justin Tyler

Signing of MoU on cards for implementation of BharatNet Phase II

DoT to organise conference to showcase utilisation models leveraging Bharat Net infrastructure

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

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today signed MoUs with states for the implementation of the second phase of BharatNet.

Under the first phase, the government planned to connect 3 lakh villages in 1 lakh panchayats to broadband, and it will be complete by next month, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said.

Telecos like Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Idea have expressed interest in providing last mile connectivity on BharatNet Infrastructure. A MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) regarding this would be soon signed between Government and private telecom firms. "This centre, with around 100 Mbps bandwidth, is equipped to provide tele-medicine-remote medical consultancy, tele-education, entertainment, digital payments and e-governance services, empowering the people in these villages and achieving the vision of Digital India", a senior official from the company told BusinessLine. Phase 1 of the project, under which 100k Gram Panchayats were to be connected, will be completed by the end of this year.

By December 2017, all 1, 00, 000 Global Positioning System will be operational on the BharatNet infrastructure.

Major telecom players like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Vodafone India have given cheques to the government to hire infrastructure in gram panchayats (GPs) to provide broadband services.


Under the Phase-II, the government will establish fiber optic cables connecting mandals to gram panchayats covering 6,657 gram panchayats across Telangana State.

The Telecom Ministry has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with seven states - Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.

These states will roll out the project on their own with partial funding from the central government.

The total project cost of BharatNet is around Rs45,000 crore, of which Rs11,200 crore have been used for the first phase.

"With BharatNet India is expecting to double fibre optic connectivity across the country from 1 million kilometre to 2 million kilometres", Sundararajan said.

The government will also give Rs3,600 crore in financial support to telecom service operators for rolling out Wi-Fi in villages. Some of the Wi-fi hotspots may not be commercially viable initially.



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