Telecom Secretary Urges Every State to Make Proper Use of Bharat Net Infrastructure

The government on Wednesday urged states to use the rural broadband infrastructure being put in place through Bharat Net project and said it would create opportunities for monetisation and ensure that the benefits of the network reach the masses. Addressing the Rural Telecom Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan emphasised that a strong connectivity infrastructure will be crucial to ensure the success of all ongoing programmes across areas, including health, education and others.


“With regard to Bharat Net, we have put in this infrastructure in one lakh gram panchayats, but states are not coming forward to utilise it. So, how do we reach across to the states to make sure that they utilise it because that will then create more opportunities for monetisation but, more importantly, that is necessary to ensure services reach the people,” Sundararajan said.

The industry and government need to team up on projects aimed at bolstering communications infrastructure in the country, she added. “We have the fiberisation project…wifi hotspots…there are a number of areas where we need to work together. One of the things, I want to flag is that in Bharat Net program…there is a huge opportunity for stakeholders in the industry because apart from building the infrastructure, in the last phase we are also rolling out wifi hotspots,” the secretary said.

The plan is to have around 12 lakh hotspots rolled out over the next 1-2 years, she said, adding that it posed a big opportunity for the industry. “As far as cities are concerned digital access is not such a challenge it used to be, but in rural India, there are a large number of pockets…also Left Wing Extremist Area (LWE), in North East…there are a number of locations where connectivity is still a big challenge. I think we must ensure that these areas are reached, that the uncovered villages are covered and the unserviced areas are serviced,” she pointed out.

The ambitious Bharat Net seeks to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through high-speed broadband by March 2019. Nearly 50% of the work on the Bharat Net project has been completed, and when fully operational, it will facilitate delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking and other services to citizens across the country.

However, earlier this month, the telecom department reportedly pulled up state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) over underutilisation of BharatNet infrastructure as well as deficiencies in the maintenance of the project.

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4 Comments on "Telecom Secretary Urges Every State to Make Proper Use of Bharat Net Infrastructure"


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Sayak Roy - Kolkata
November 22, 2018 7:52 am 7:52 AM

Can someone explain how this is possible?? This is on band 3, I double checked.
Nikhil Mumbai-Pune
November 22, 2018 1:14 pm 1:14 PM

Band 40/41 is deployed properly and heavily congested in your area. Band 3 is mostly unutilized.

November 22, 2018 3:47 am 3:47 AM
Bharatnet is a useless as a government project, they could lay fiber,but end connectivity won’t be operational, bcz its no one’s commercial interest. They should have given it to big private partners as tax benefit for companies that fulfill its digital ambition or now wrt present situation government should have started own commercial broadband service teasing rest. They should implement in a state as a whole and make others treated if they dont use first to market advantage. Others react only when they are threatened of losses. Now they should tease others with capacity and services they can provide. Also… Read more »
November 21, 2018 10:45 pm 10:45 PM

Bsnl keeps laying fiber, but never utilises them. Hotspots are a dream.. in real should offer cheap broadband plans… useless fup and post fup 1mbps… what the hell its usefull.. we need total unlimited plans 5mbps for 200, 10mbps 400, 20mbps 750, [email protected]…i think jio will do.. its best that bsnl sells its assets to jio ….airtel too has food fibre but never launched services pan india.. so is ftth bsnl..
By the way is jio fiberplans out or they still wants to test for another 20 years….