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Broadband connectivity in gram panchayats to be completed by Mar '19

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NEW DELHI: Broadband connectivity will be provided under Phase-II of the BharatNet project to remaining 1,50.000 gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media.

Communications minister Manoj Sinha said in the Parliament that this phase is targeted to be completed by March 2019.  

Sinha said, according to information provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there were 422.19 million broadband subscribers and the internet penetration (internet subscriber per 100 population) was 32.86% in the country as on 31 March 2017.

The National Telecom Policy-2012 envisages 600 million broadband connections by the year 2020, he said. 

He said the Government had planned the BharatNet project to provide 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to all Gram Panchayats ? approximately 2,20,000 in the country.

Under the first phase of the project, 100,000 Gram Panchayats are to be connected by laying underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) which is under implementation. 

The Minister said that the provision of last mile access to the network and broadband service provisioning shall be through Wi-Fi or any other broadband access technologies in all 2,50,000 GPs in the country.

As on 23 July 2017, the status of implementation of BharatNet is:  

No. of GPs where OFC laying is completed: 100,299 GPs 

Optical Fibre Cable laid: 221,925 Kms 

Broadband Connectivity provided in GPs: 25,426 GPs 

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