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Centre launches BharatNet phase II, to reach 50 lakh households by 2020

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    The second phase of the project BharatNet, Centre's flagship rural connectivity project, was launched on Monday. Under the project, 1,50,000 gram panchayats would be connected with optic fibre cable (OFC).

    Centre to launch BharatNet phase II today

    During the welcome address, Secretary of Telecom Ministry said that all components of BharatNet e.g. OFC, equipments, software are Made in India and spearheaded by the the ministry. She also told that by end of 2020, Broadband will reach to around 25 Lakh institutions and 50 Lakh households via BharatNet.

    Telecom giants Vodafone, Reliancejio handed over advance cheques for utilization of BharatNet Bandwidth and dark fibres in rural areas.

    The Telecom Department (DoT) also signed pacts with Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand that will roll out Phase 2 of BharatNet on their own with partial funding from the government.

    In the first phase of the project, 1,00,000 gram panchayats were connected as of March, albeit two years after it was originally intended to. The original target set by the government for laying down OFC in 1 lakh gram panchayats was March 2015 but was later advanced to March 2017.

    Highlights of BharatNet:

    • Broadband infrastructure on Optical Fibre network has been made available at over 1 lakh Gram Panchayats across the country as part of BharatNet Phase I
    • State Governments shall be sharing their plans for leveraging the BharatNet infrastructure
    • DoT, on its part, has taken initiative to demonstrate various models that could possibly be adopted for these services.
    • The DoT had significantly increased the pace of implementation during the last six months to complete Phase I
    • Under BharatNet Phase I, Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connectivity has reached in over 1, 00, 000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) across different States in the country
    • By Dec 2017, all 1, 00, 000 GPs will be operational on the BharatNet infrastructure
    • As of today, almost 90,000 installations have been completed and Services are expected to commence in 80,000 GPs shortly

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