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BharatNet Phase 1: Target achieved through meticulous planning and focused implementation at ground level

January 16, 2018
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Government has completed the Phase-1 of BharatNet project by connecting over 100,000 gram panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline of December 31, 2017. BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 250,000 villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.

Union Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha said that the vision and the mission of the country is to connect India to realise the government’s goal of Digital India by bridging the digital divide. Describing the BharatNet as the world’s largest rural broadband project created on the moto of ‘Create, Collaborate and Conquer’, Sinha said that the project will generate massive employment opportunities both direct and indirect in the country in days to come. He underlined the need to complete the second phase of the BharatNet well before the target of March, 2019 to usher in a rural digital revolution by connecting 250,000 GPs with broadband network. The Minister asked the officials to include and enforce the clause of financial incentive for speedy execution of Phase-2 of the project and said that the infrastructure created under BharatNet will be a national asset, accessible on a non-discriminatory basis to the service providers. The project aims to provide affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in rural and remote areas, in partnership with states and the private sector.

Under Phase 1 of the project, till May 31, 2014 the work had been started in 4,918 GPs and 358 km optical fibre cable (OFC) was pulled and only 59 GPs were made service ready. Till June 30, 2016 work had been started in 84,834 GPs and 1, 24,817 km OFC was pulled covering 53,557 GPs with 7,229 GPs made service ready. As on Dec 31, 2017, 2, 54,895 km OFC has been laid covering 1, 09,926 GPs out of which 1, 01,370 GPs have been made service ready.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Aruna Sundararajan said that to complete the Phase-1 of BharatNet, the entire eco-system of the department responded to the call of the Minister Manoj Sinha. She said that it has given boost to Make-in-India as the key highlight of the project is that the telecom equipment deployed in it has been fully designed, developed and manufactured in India. She said that the project also achieved a global record of laying of 800 kilometres of optical fibre per day. She said that the BharatNet infrastructure is expected to catalyse digital delivery of services for the rural poor – viz. health, education, livelihood, skills, e-agriculture and e-commerce. The tariff for BharatNet was also revised to attract more telecom service providers (TSPs) to use the infrastructure to provide high-speed broadband services in the rural areas through Wi-Fi, fibre-to-the-home and for developing utilisation models by TSPs and Common Service Centres (CSC).

The DoT felicitated the key performers and stakeholders who significantly contributed to achieve the target. The telecom minister gave away the awards for the best performing states, states which covered all the GPs, best utilisation of BharatNet, best performing implementation partners, best performing equipment supply partners, best performing OFC supply partners, best technology partners and significant individual contributors.

Under the award categories, Uttar Pradesh (East), Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand were adjudged as the best performing States which implemented BharatNet Phase 1. Kerala, Karnataka and Haryana were the states which covered all the GPs under the project. Karnataka bagged the award for best utilisation of BharatNet. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited received the awards for the best performing implementation partners. While Tejas Networks and Indian Telephone Industries Limited were honoured with the best performing equipment supply partners, Finolex Cables, Sterlite Technologies and Vindhya Telelinks Limited were bestowed with the best performing OFC supply partners. Centre for Development of Telematics (CDoT) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) were given the best technology partners award.

Further, executives namely Mahmood Ahmed, JAF, USOF, Rupendra Kumar, Director (BB), USOF, Deepika Khosla, CGM, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), Deepak Chanduka, CGM, BBNL, Shahnawaz Alam, CGM, BBNL, Anil Kumar Gupta, CGM, BBNL, Vinod Kumar, CGM, BBNL, P K Panda, GM, BBNL and B P Meena, GM, BBNL received the significant individual contributors’ award from the minister.


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