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The National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) BharatNet Project is an ambitious initiative to accelerate the broadband revolution in rural areas. The NOFN was envisioned as a superhighway, through the creation of a robust mid-mile infrastructure, to enable gram panchayats to access broadband connectivity.
National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) BharatNet Project 2021-22 aims to connect all 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats in the country and provide 100 to 1000 Mbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats (GPs). To achieve this, existing fibers from Public Sector Undertakings (BSNL, RailTel, and Power Grid) were used and incremental fiber was laid to connect Gram Panchayats, where necessary. The dark fiber network thus created was lit by suitable technology, thereby creating sufficient bandwidth in the Gram Panchayats.
Non-discriminatory access to NOFN was provided to all service providers such as Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, cable TV operators, and content providers for launching various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Based on NOFN experiences, the new, updated, and improved version – BharatNet was conceived as a nationwide broadband network.
BharatNet Project 2021 (Bharat Net)
In her finance speech on 01 February 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the government’s vision and presentation are to provide virtual connectivity to all public institutions at the Gram Panchayat level. For the same, the government has proposed to allocate Rs 6000 crore for the ‘BharatNet‘ program in 2021 to hyperlink one lakh gram panchayats through offering fiber to home connections (FTTH).
BharatNet is a project of national importance, to provide highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, affordable broadband connectivity of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps for all households, and on-demand capacity to all institutions. To realize the dream of Digital India, in partnership with the States and the private sector. The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up to improve telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. It aims to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, the internet, and other services in rural India.
Bharat Net 2021 Highlights
|Project||Bharat Net 2021|
|Laoched By||central government|
|Project Under||Digital India|
|Objective||Internet access to villages|
|Department||Bharat Broadband Network Limited.|
|year of planning||2021|
- To provide high speed digital connectivity to rural India at affordable cost.
- Providing B2B services in a non-discriminatory manner.
- To facilitate the spread of broadband services in rural areas so as to promote socio-economic development in line with the vision of ‘Digital India’ programme, which is initiated by the Government of India to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. has been started.
BharatNet Project History
BharatNet Project was earlier known as National Fiber Optic Network during the UPA government
With a vision of over 250,000-gram panchayats across the country, the UPA government of Manmohan Singh launched the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) program in 2011. The Modi government, during its tenure, changed the name of this project to the BharatNet program along with making many changes to take this project forward at a fast pace. The objective of this program is to use fiber optics to bring broadband connectivity to every corner of the country.
Through BharatNet, the government converts the minimum 100 Mbps bandwidth in each gram panchayat of the government, which is present in all rural health areas, especially in all of them. These include e-governance, e-learning, e-banking, e-commerce, and e-health services. Infrastructure is a national asset and non-resources reach all remote defense service providers. Acquisition, the Central Government uses and provides broadband Internet Parliament Government service.
BharatNet is operated by BBNL
Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is a special purpose government of India, it was set up by the Government of India under the Department of Telecommunications to manage, install and operate BharatNet. It was incorporated in 2012 as a PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) under the Companies Act.
BharatNet Project All Deadlines Yet
The program was originally planned to be implemented in a phased manner. The time frame for each of the three phases was set by the UPA government. He had an ambitious deadline to complete the entire project in two years by 2013. and will move on to it later
- Phase I: 50,000 Gram Panchayats by 31 March 2015
- Phase II : 1 Lakh Gram Panchayats by March 2016
- Phase III: Remaining 1 Lakh Gram Panchayats by December 2016
But, after NDA came to power in 2014, this deadline was extended till March 2017. Yet, the first phase of connecting over one lakh panchayats was completed only in December 2017. The implementation was done by three Central PSUs, BSNL, RailTel, Powergrid. At present, Phase – II is under implementation to connect the remaining 1.5 lakh Panchayats. The government is hoping to complete the project by August 2021.
BharatNet Phase II
Under Phase-II, the implementation is done through State Model, Private Sector Model, and CPSU Model. Not only will this phase include an optimal mix of channels for connectivity (optical fiber cables, radio, and satellite), but last-mile connectivity will be provided via Wi-Fi or similar technology to ensure that the internet is available in every household.
About eight states have opted for the state-led model, while the satellite model is being implemented mostly in those states which have a difficult terrain. Uttar Pradesh is implementing this project through both BSNL (CPSU LED) and PPP models.
As of 06 March 2020, optical fiber cables have been laid for over 4.27 lakh km connecting 1.5 lakh gram panchayats. Out of these, about 1.37 lakhs have been prepared latest figures on the website of BBNL.