- BharatNet Project was originally launched in 2011 as the National Optical Fibre Network(NOFN) and renamed as Bharat-Net in 2015.
- It is the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity programme using Optical fibre. It seeks to provide connectivity to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) through optical fibre.
- It is a flagship mission implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
- The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.
- It aims to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions.
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.
Phases of the Project
1. First Phase – Provide one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) lines by December 2017.
2. Second Phase – Provide connectivity to all the gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media by March 2019.
3. Third Phase – From 2019 to 2023, a state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fibre between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.
- The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
- The project will be extended to all inhabited villages beyond the gram panchayats in 16 States which are –Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The revised strategy will include creation, upgrading, operation, maintenance and utilisation of BharatNet by the private sector partner, who will be selected by a competitive international bidding process.
BharatNet in Himachal Pradesh
• Phase-1:- 207 GPs in 6 Blocks of Hamirpur (Nadaun, SujanpurTihra, Bijhari, Bamsan), Mandi (Seraj) and Solan (Nalagarh) are connected using high speed internet bandwidth under BharatNet Phase-I project. 170 GPs are further providing Wi-Fi connectivity to the people under Wi-Fi Choupal project.
• Phase-II: – Total 2785 GPs in 65 Blocks would be covered using overhead aerial using electrical infrastructure. Remaining 159 GPs in 7 Blocks would be connected using VSAT links. VSAT material has been delivered to 154 GPs. Out of which, in 103 locations VSAT has been installed and rest are under
Source: https://himachaldit.gov.in/services/bharatnet-project/, https://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/cabinet-approves-19041-crore-viability-gap-funding-for-bharatnet-in-16-states/article35055840.ece