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Govt to start Rs 34,000 crore Bharat Net phase2 from today

Govt to start Rs 34,000 crore Bharat Net phase2 from today
The government will start its second and final phase of Bharat Net project on Monday —with an outlay of around Rs 34,000 crore— to provide high speed broad band in all panchayats by March 2019, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said on Sunday.Under the project, the government aims to connect 150,000 panchayats through 1 million km of additional optical fibre and give band width to telecom players at nearly 75 per cent cheaper price for broad band and WiFi services in rural areas.
“We will tomorrow launch phase2 of BharatNet to connect 150,000 gram panchayats (GPs) with high speed broad band by March 2019. Phase1 of the project, under which 100,000 GPs were to be connected, will be completed by the end of this year.We expect telecom operators to provide at least 2 megabit per second speed to rural households,” Sundararajan said.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar will launch the project on Monday.
The telecom ministry will sign agreements with seven states —Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand— which will roll out the project on their own with partial funding from the central government.“The total project cost of BharatNet is around Rs 45,000 crore, of which Rs 11,200 crore have been used for the first phase.
After the rural exchange rollout in the country when telecom services started, this is the biggest project involving domestically manufactured products for the entire project,” Sundararajan said.
She said around Rs 4.5 lakh crore value can be added to the national gross domestic product on completion of Bharat Net phase2, asastudy has suggested that every 10 per cent usage of internet in India drives up GDP by 3.3 per cent. BSNL will roll out optical fibre in yet to be covered locations of eight states —Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir and Sikkim that were not covered under the first phase of Bharat Net.
The government aims to connect 150,000 panchayats through 1 mn km of additional optical fibre
The Business Standard, New Delhi, 13th November 2017

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