BSNL to start Rs 20,000 crore project to set up telecom links in all Indian villages

Telecom Lead India: The state-run BSNL will set up
telecommunication links including Internet connectivity in all villages by
2014, under a Rs 20,000 crore project.


The project will help bring basic e-services to
populations in rural, far-flung areas in the country. The tele-density in urban
areas in India is almost 100 percent whilst in the rural areas, it is mere 37


“The Rs 20,000 crore project for the creation of a ‘National Optical Fibre Network’ (NOFN) for providing internet and other
telecommunications connectivity to villages has been launched recently. It would
be completed by the next two years,” said R.K. Upadhyaya, CMD of BSNL.


According to Upadhyaya, once the NOFN was
created, it would help in offering governance, banking and health and other
basic services online up to the villages and rural areas. Also, the existing
tele-density would be increased to a great extent in the rural areas.


The teleco will also improve the telecommunications
connectivity in the northeastern region by upgrading the existing Optical Fibre
Cable (OFC) network and hiring PGCIL (Power Grid Corporation of India
Limited) and RailTel cable network, according to Economic Time.

“The BSNL has laid OFC from Kolkata to (Bangladesh capital) Dhaka and the
network would be further extended up to northeastern states in near future
via Bangladesh. The BSNL has OFC network with some European countries,
Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan. “Earlier the link was put in place
with Pakistan too but now it is non-operational,” Upadhyaya

BSNL accounts to 80 percent of landline and 90 percent of broadband connections
in the country, while around 30 percent of the nation’s mobile connections are
covered by BSNL.


TRAI recommended Rs 600 crore subsidy to BSNL, in order to  help the
cash-strapped company in maintaining rural wireline connections installed
before April 1, 2002.


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