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BharatNet project:

GS Paper 3

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

 

Context:

The Meghalaya Cabinet has cleared amendments to a tripartite agreement for the implementation of BharatNet project in Meghalaya.

  • The agreement was first signed in 2013 between DOT, Meghalaya government’s IT Department and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) – the body responsible for implementation of BharatNet.

 

Background:

Union Cabinet, in July 2021, accorded approval for the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public-Private Partnership(PPP) mode in 16 States of the country.

The startegy includes:

  1. The government will provide Rs 19,041 crore as viability gap funding for the project.
  2. BharatNet will now extend up to all inhabited villages beyond the gram panchayats (GPs) in the said states.
  3. It includes creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance and utilisation of BharatNet by the concessionaire who will be selected by a competitive international bidding process.

 

Significance:

  1. The PPP model will leverage private sector efficiency for operation, maintenance, utilisation and revenue generation, and is expected to result in a faster rollout of BharatNet.
  2. Extension of reach of BharatNet to all inhabited villages with reliable, quality, high speed broadband will enable better access of e-services offered by various central and state government agencies.
  3. It will also enable online education, telemedicine, skill development, e-commerce and other applications of broadband.

 

About BharatNet:

  1. BharatNet Project was originally launched in 2011 as the National Optical Fibre Network(NOFN) and renamed as Bharat-Net in 2015.
  2. It seeks to provide connectivity to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre.
  3. It is a flagship mission implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
  4. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.

 

The larger vision of the project is:

  • To establish a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis.
  • To provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions.
  • To realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.

 

Implementation:

The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.

The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.

 

 

Insta Curious:

Do you know what Dark Fibre is?Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About BharatNet.
  2. Objectives and implementation.
  3. About USOF.
  4. About BBNL.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of BharatNet Project.

Sources: the Hindu.