- BharatNet is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. It was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.
- In the first phase of the project, 1,00,000 gram panchayats were connected by March 2017.
- In the first phase, only underground optic fibre cable was used to establish connectivity.
- Whereas, in the second phase a mix of underground fibre, aerial fibre, radio and satellite media would be utilised to connect the remaining gram panchayats.
- The expenditure for the implementation of BharatNet will be funded from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
- Some amount will be utilised for essential activities not covered in the initial BharatNet framework, such as last mile connectivity architecture, operation and maintenance and replacement of BSNL’s poor quality fibre being used in the project between block to gram panchayat.
- The government aims to bridge the digital divide in rural and remote areas by providing affordable broadband at a minimum speed of 100 Mbps through a robust network infrastructure.
- The modified implementation strategy of BharatNet project will enable effective and faster implementation of various mission mode e-governance projects of Central government and state governments.
- It will facilitate electronic delivery of services to citizens thereby facilitating inclusive growth.
- Economic benefits from the project are expected through additional employment, e-education, e-health, e-agriculture, etc., and reduction in migration of rural population to urban areas.
Section : Polity & Governance