The Union Government would be launching its second and final phase of BharatNet project on 13 November 2017 to provide high-speed broadband service in all Gram Panchayats by March 2019. It will be implemented at an outlay of around Rs 34000 crores.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar would be launching the project at the National Conference in New Delhi.
The telecom ministry would also be signing agreements with seven states — Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand — which will roll out the project on their own with partial funding from the central government.
The conference would see participation from Information and Technology Ministers, state secretaries and service providers.
• Under phase 2, the government aims to provide broadband connectivity in the remaining 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats through 1 million km of additional optical fibre.
• For the same, the government would be providing bandwidth to telecom companies such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio at 75 per cent lower rate to set up broadband and Wi-Fi services in the rural areas.
• BSNL will roll out optical fibre in yet to be covered locations of eight states including Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim.
• Power Grid Corporation of India has been awarded contract for three states including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha.
• India at present has 38,000 wifi hotspots. Under BharatNet phase 2, around 6-7 lakh wifi hotspots will be added with 2-5 hotpsots in each panchayats.
• Some of the wifi hotspots may not be commercially viable initially. So, in such cases the government will provide viability gap funding of around Rs 3,600 crore to telecom operators.
BharatNet Phase 1, under which one lakh Gram Panchayat were to be connected, will be completed by the end of this year.
Who: Union Government
When: 13 November 2017