What is the issue ?
- Government has achieved a significant milestone under the BharatNet by completing Phase-1 of the project by connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high speed optical fibre network as per the declared deadline of 31 Dec 2017.
What is BharatNet ?
- BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.
What has been achieved ?
- Under Phase 1 of the project, till 31st May 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 30th June 2016 work had been started in 84,834 GPs and 1,24,817 km OFC pulled covering 53,557 GPs with 7,229 GPs made Service Ready.
- As on 31st Dec 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.
Bharat Net Project
What the government aims to achieve through this mega project :
- Upon completion of Bharat Net phase 2, the GDP would be boosted by Rs 4.5 lakh crore value as a study has suggested that every 10 per cent usage of Internet in India drives up GDP by 3.3 per cent.
- The government expects the second phase of Bharat Net to double the existing optical fibre footprint and generate employment of 10 crore mandays during the rollout of the project
- BharatNet project will be the biggest user of ‘Made in India’ equipment, “ruggedised” to suit the Indian rural conditions.
- Telecom providers are expected to provide atleast 2 megabit per second speed to rural households.
Rollout of project :
BSNL will roll out optical fibre in yet-to-be covered locations of Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim, which were not covered under the first phase.
Power Grid Corporation of India has been awarded contract for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Odisha.
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand are expected to roll out the project on their own with partial funding from the central government.
Advantages of successfully implementing the project.
- Boost to e-commerce and several other services.
- It is also beneficial for telecom operators as they can shift from microwave to fibre as at present, they are on microwave due to lack of fibre.
- This will also trigger a massive services revolution, particularly in education and health in the rural areas.
- Huge boost to Make in India since all equipment are indigenously manufactured.