The government on Wednesday informed the Parliament that over 5.6 lakh kms of optical fibre cable (OFC) has been laid in the country as of February 28, 2022 under the BharatNet project to provide broadband connectivity.
BharatNet project is being implemented in a phased manner to provide broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs) in the country through an optimal mix of media -- OFC/ radio/ satellite.
"As on 28.02.2022, total 5,67,941 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid. Total 1,72,361 GPs (1,68,010 GPs on OFC and 4,351 GPs on satellite) have been made service ready in the country," Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
As of December 31, 2020, Rs 27,582.7 crore has been disbursed/ utilised under the project, the minister said. The scope of BharatNet has been recently extended to cover all inhabited villages beyond GPs in the country.
The BharatNet network is monitored through centralised Network Operating Centre (NOC) and its reports are being monitored on a regular basis. Further, for real-time monitoring, a mobile app has been developed, the government said in response to a question about maintenance of the project.
"This is a GIS based monitoring system for capturing monitoring data at field level with smartphones. Work of maintenance (i.e. O&M of incremental OFC network, First Line Maintenance of equipment and supporting infrastructure) is being carried out presently by CSC e-Governance Services India Limited (a SPV under MeitY, Government of India) in about 1.20 lakh GPs of the BharatNet Phase-I. For the Phase-II of BharatNet, the respective implementing agencies are responsible for the maintenance of the network," it said.
The minister said that the infrastructure created under BharatNet project is a national asset, accessible on a non-discriminatory basis to the service providers, and the same can be utilised for provisioning of broadband/ internet services through Wi-Fi hotspots, Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connections, leased lines, dark fibre, backhaul to mobile towers, etc.
"As of 28.02.2022, Wi-Fi hotspots have been installed in 1,04,288 GPs, 2,13,834 Fibre to the Home broadband connections are provided, 36,333 km dark fibre is leased and 4,038 Gbps bandwidth has been leased using BharatNet network," he said.
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