Centre approves Rs 4,066 crore for internet in all panchayats

The government has approved Rs 4,066 crore for providing internet connectivity to people in all gram panchayats (GPs) under BharatNet project, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha informed Parliament on Friday.

"Rs 4,066 crore has been approved for providing last mile connectivity, through Wi-Fi or any other suitable broadband technology, at all the GPs (Approx 2,50,000) in the country," Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The government is rolling BharatNet project to provide high speed broadband connectivity at GP levels.

"The strategy to provide last mile connectivity has been approved by the Telecom Commission on September 8, 2017. The tender to select the implementing agency for provision of last mile connectivity has been prepared by Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL)," Sinha said.

As on December 24, the government provided optical fibre connectivity to 1,08,237 GPs by laying 2,52,547 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and 96,039 gram panchayats are ready for broadband services.

The government plans to connect all GPs with high speed broadband by March 2019.

"In the Phase-I of the project, 1 lakh GPs are envisaged to be connected on 100 Mbps (megabit per second) speed.

However in Phase-II, to cover the remaining GPs, dark fibre for leasing to Service Providers, provision of 1 gbps (gigabit per second) bandwidth in case of wired media (OFC) and minimum 100 Mbps bandwidth scalable up to 1 gbps in case of wireless media (radio) at a GP have been decided," Sinha said.

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