Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL) might be merged this month. Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), BSNL, said during an All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom Officers Association (AIGETOA) that the government is going to give the telecom firm an opportunity to turn around.
According to a PTI report, Purwar said that all the work under BBNL will come under BSNL at a PAN-India level after it merges with the company.
BSNL to Benefit from the Merger a Big Way
BSNL has already built a network of 6.8 lakh kilometer of optical fibre cable (OFC) network. Now, with the proposed merger, BSNL will get access to 5.8 lakh kilometer of optical fibre that has been laid across 1.85 lakh village panchayats across the country with the use of the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
BBNL is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that was formed in February 2012 for laying out an optical fibre network across 2.5 lakh village panchayats with the use of USOF so that connectivity can reach rural parts of the country.
BBNL doesn’t need to pay RoW (right of way) charges for laying optical fibre, which results in significant savings for the company. The private telcos have to pay a ton of charges which includes RoW charges, license fees with USOF in it, and more.
It is worth noting that BBNL employees are not really in favour of this merger. The BBNL employees are unhappy with the non-performance of BSNL on the BharatNet project.
With BSNL trying to launch 4G and 5G later this year, this merger will boost the telco’s opportunities and chances of reaching more areas of the country faster. It would also enable BSNL to grow its fiber broadband business aggressively, which has been struck badly due to the private internet service providers (ISPs) making a name for themselves. It will be interesting to see what happens ahead.