Optical Fibre Network Connectivity to Gram Panchayats under BharatNet project
- BharatNet project is implemented in a phased manner to provide broadband connectivity to all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through an optimal mix of media (OFC/ Radio/ Satellite).
- Its scope has been recently extended up to all inhabited villages beyond GPs in the country.
- The BharatNet Project began in 2011 as the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) and was renamed Bharat-Net in 2015.
- It intends to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) using optical fiber.
- It is the flagship mission of Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
- The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
- The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
Objectives of the project
- To build a highly scalable network infrastructure that is open to anyone without discrimination.
- To deliver on-demand, low-cost internet access ranging from 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps to all households, as well as on-demand capacity to all institutions.
- In collaboration with states and the commercial sector, to realize the vision of Digital India.
- The expansion of BharatNet's reach to all inhabited villages with consistent, high-quality, high-speed internet would improve access to e-services provided by different national and state government organisations.
- It will also allow for online education, telemedicine, skill development, e-commerce, and other broadband uses.
- BharatNet project is a big step in the direction of implementing Right to Access Internet as a basic fundamental right and towards augmenting Digital India. It will make rural people empowered to access various e-governance facilities which they cannot due to lack of internet access in villages.