Digital India: BBNL invites global bids for Rs 19,041 cr BharatNet broadband project

Science    21-Jul-2021
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New Delhi, July 21: Taking one more step towards Digital India, Bharat Broadband Network Limited has invited bids for Rs 19,041 crore BharatNet project to roll out high-speed broadband services in the rural areas across 16 states.
BharatNet _1  H
"Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) has invited global tender for the development (creation, upgradation, operation and maintenance, and utilisation) of BharatNet through a public-private partnership model in 9 separate packages across 16 states for a concession period of 30 years," BBNL said in a statement.
Under this project, the government will provide a maximum Grant of 19,041 Crore rupees as Viability Gap Funding.
The Project will cover an estimated 3 lakh 61 thousand Villages across Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.
Ministry of Communications said the scope of BharatNet has now been enhanced to connect all the Inhabited Villages of the country to around 6 lakh 43 thousand.
The existing BharatNet was connecting all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the country by laying OFC (primarily) between Block and GPs. The scope of BharatNet has now been enhanced to connect all the Inhabited Villages of the country, approx. 6.43 lakhs (inclusive of GPs).
It just comes 20 days after Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public-Private Partnership mode in 16 states of the country.
The rationale for this is to leverage the private sector’s “capability, capacity, and efficiency for O&M, utilization, and revenue generation” with an aim to make BharatNet more effective and accessible.