The government of India has achieved a major milestone by connecting over one lakh Gram Panchayats (GP) across the country with high-speed optical fiber network under the BharatNet Phase-1 project as per the declared deadline of 31 Dec 2017.  

BharatNet network built under Phase 1 envisages delivery of high-speed broadband services in over 2.5 lakh villages benefitting more than 200 million rural Indians.

As per the government, BharatNet project is the world’s largest rural broadband project shaped on the mantra of Collaborate, Create and Conquer. It is started with the vision and mission of the Prime Minister’s Digital India by bridging the digital divide.

BharatNet Phase 1: Highlights

The project aims to provide affordable broadband services to citizens and institutions in rural and remote areas, in partnership with States and the private sector. 

Under Phase 1 of the project, as on 31st Dec 2017, 2,54,895 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid covering 1,09,926 Gram Panchayats (GPs) out of which 1,01,370 GPs have been made Service Ready.

However, until 31st May 2014, the work had been started in 4,918 GPs and 358 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) was pulled and only 59 GPs were made service ready.  

The BharatNet project has also achieved a worldwide record of laying of 800 km of optical fiber per day.

The completion of Phase-I on time has given a boost to Make-in-India as the key highlight of the project is that the telecom equipment deployed in it has been fully designed, developed and manufactured in India. 

It is expected that the project will produce immense employment opportunities both direct and indirect in the country in days to come. 

The government is very much focused on the need to complete the 2nd phase of the BharatNet project well before the target of March 2019 to lead the rural digital revolution by connecting 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) with the broadband network. 

The infrastructure created under BharatNet will be a national asset, accessible on a non-discriminatory basis to the service providers. 

It will be the catalyst for digital delivery of services like health, education, livelihood, skills, e-agriculture and e-commerce in the rural and remote areas.

Key performers in Phase-I

The Department of Telecom (DoT) felicitated the key performers and stakeholders who extensively contributed to achieving the target.  

Uttar Pradesh (East), Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were adjudged as the Best performing States which implemented BharatNet Phase 1.  

Kerala, Karnataka and Haryana covered all the GPs under the Project.  Karnataka bagged the award for  Best Utilization of BharatNet. 

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd received the awards for the Best performing implementation partners. – Jagran Josh


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