Bharat Net or
Bharat Broadband Network Limited
(Ministry of Communication)
- Bharat Net or Bharat Broadband Network Limited was launched to provide network infrastructure with affordable broadband connectivity to all households in the country especially in Gram panchayats.
- It aimed to realize the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the Private Sector.
- The programme, previously called as the National [simple_tooltip content=’Optical Fiber Network- An optical fiber is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic, used to many telecommunications companies to transmit telephone signals, Internet communication, and cable television signals.’]Optical Fiber Network [/simple_tooltip], approved in October 2011.
- It is implemented under the ‘Ministry of Communication’.
History of the program
- On 25 October 2011 the government of India approved the “National Optical Fiber Network” (NOFN) initiative to connect all 2.5 lakh Gram panchayats by utilizing the existing optical fiber network.
- Between 2011 and 2014, project did not take off as planned and only 350 km of optical fiber, out of 300,000 km optical fiber network needed for the phase-I, was laid.
- Later (in 2014) the program renamed as Bharat Net.
- Between 2014 and 2017, the original phase-I target of laying 300,000 km of optical fiber was completed under the new BJP government.
Features of the program
(1) Aimed Gram Panchayats:
It aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs), or village blocks, through optical fiber Network.
(2) phases of the program:
It is implemented in three phases –
- First phase – providing broadband connectivity to one lakh gram panchayats by 2017.
- Second Phase – providing broadband connectivity to remaining 1.5 lakh gram panchayats by 2019.
- Third Phase – providing [simple_tooltip content=’State- of- art – State of the art (sometimes cutting edge) refers to the highest level of general development, as of a device, technique, or scientific field achieved at a particular time.’] state-of-art [/simple_tooltip] network using fibers between districts and block with reduced redundancy by 2023.
(3) Implementing Agencies:
Implementation will be done by the states, state agencies, private sector companies and Central
[simple_tooltip content=’PSUs – Public sector units are the companies, owned by the Government of India. In PSUs the share of Govt. of India is equal or more than 51% and rest share can be of any private organization or of any other PSU. For Ex. ONGC, NALCO, BHEL etc.’]PSUs [/simple_tooltip] (Public Sector Units).
(4) Service providers:
All the Service Providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators etc. will be given non – discriminatory access to the National Optic Fibre Network and they can launch further various services in rural areas.
(5) Funding Pattern:
- It is funded from Universal Service Obligation Fund- The fund was established in 2002 to be utilized for providing telegraph services across the country especially the rural and remote areas.
- It receives funds from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their gross revenue.
- Funds are dispatched through a bidding process to an enterprise which works on providing tele services.
(6) Cost of the program:
The total project cost of Bharat Net is around Rs 45,000 crore, of which Rs 11,200 crore have been used for the first phase.
(7) ‘Mantra’ of the project:
Bharat Net is the world’s largest rural broadband project created on the mantra of-
- Collaborate and
(8) Boost to ‘Make in India’:
It has given boost to Make-in-India as the telecom equipment deployed in it has been fully designed, developed and manufactured in India.
- The project also achieved a global record of laying of 800 kilometers of optical fiber per day.