BharatNet delivers OFC connectivity in 103,275 Gram Panchayats

LazrSPEED 550 WideBand Multimode FiberIndia Government has updated the status of BharatNet, a project to provide broadband services in rural and remote areas, under the Digital India mission.

As on November 05, 2017, BharatNet has delivered Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connectivity in 103,275 Gram Panchayats by laying fibre for 238,677 km. BharatNet has installed GPON equipment in 85,506 GPs and 75,082 GPs are services ready.

The target of India Government is to provide 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country. India will connect 1 lakh Gram Panchayats by laying underground OFC under first phase of the project.

Phase-II will be completed by March 2019 to offer connectivity to remaining 1.5 lakh GPs using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media.

Manoj Sinha, minister for Communications, in July 2017 said that BharatNet has completed the laying of OFC in 100,299 GPs covering 221,925 Kms of Optical Fibre Cable and provided broadband connectivity in 25,426 GPs as on 23 July 2017.

The charges will vary from Rs 700 per Mbps for up to 10Mbps and Rs 200 per Mbps for 1 Gbps for asymmetrical bandwidth between block to GPs.

The charges will be Rs 1,000 per Mbps up to 10Mbps, and Rs 500 per Mbps for 100 Mbps per annum for symmetrical bandwidth between block to GP. BharatNet will reveal the tariff for intermediate bandwidth on pro-rata basis.

BharatNet is offering a discount of 5 percent to 25 percent for taking bandwidth in more than 1,000 GPs to more than 25,000 GPs in a single application.

BharatNet has waived off port charges at block and GP in order to lower the entry barriers. This apart, BharatNet has fixed Rs 2,250 per fibre per km per annum for service providers and Government agencies for dark fibre.

Bharti Airtel has shown interest in 10,000 GPs for taking 1 Gbps connectivity on lease.

Reliance Jio, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are interested in taking 100 Mbps connectivity on lease in about 30,000, 2,000 and 1,000 GPs respectively.

BharatNet said the rolling out of services by TSPs in these GPs is expected to trigger the village level eco-system widening the extent to cover more and more number of GPs in near future. This will give an impetus to broadband facilities in rural India.

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