Regulators

Bharat Net project to provide 1gbps broadband bandwidth in villages

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NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: The Indian government’s proposal of providing hi-speed broadband services to rural areas seems to be on track. It said that in the second phase of the ambitious Bharat Net project, covering approximately 150,000 gram panchayats, it has been proposed to provide 1gbps bandwidth in case of wired media (optical fibre cable) and minimum 100 mbps bandwidth scalable up to 1 gbps in case of wireless media (radio).

The Bharat Net project, aimed at providing broadband and related services, including TV, is being implemented in a phased manner for providing connectivity to all the approximately 250,000 gram panchayats or village administrations in the country, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on Friday told the Rajya Sabha or the upper house of parliament.

In phase I of the project, 100,000 gram panchayats are envisaged to be connected on 100 mbps speed, the minister said. In a separate suggestion, telecoms and broadcast regulator TRAI has said that cable operators and satellite companies could be roped in to provide broadband services as part of the Bharat Net project.

Sinha further stated that Rs 40,660 million has been approved for providing last mile connectivity through wi-fi or any other suitable broadband technology to the gram panchayats of the country.

The strategy to provide last mile connectivity, the minister stated, has been approved by the Telecom Commission in September 2017 and a tender to select the implementing agency for provision of last mile connectivity has been prepared by Bharat Broadband Network Limited.

According to the communications minister, as on 24 December 2017 optical fibre connectivity has been provided to 1,08,237 village administrations by laying 2,52,547 km optical fibre cable and 96,039 gram panchayats are service-ready.

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