Cabinet approves BharatNet implementation through Public Private Partnership Model

Source: PIB

What is the News?

Union Cabinet has accorded approval for the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public-Private Partnership(PPP) mode in 16 States of the country.

BharatNet Project:
  • BharatNet Project was originally launched in 2011 as the National Optical Fibre Network(NOFN) and renamed as Bharat-Net in 2015.
What is the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet?

The revised BharatNet Project will be implemented through Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model with a total cost of ₹29,430 crores. Of this, the Government will provide the viability gap fund of ₹19,041 crores.

    • Viability Gap Fund means a grant to support projects that are economically justified but not financially viable.

Aim: The project which initially aims to connect all the gram panchayats of the country through optic fiber for providing broadband services; it will now have two new components:

    • The first will be that BharatNet will now extend up to all inhabited villages beyond the gram panchayats (GPs) in the 16 states.
    • Second, the project will also now include the creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance, and utilization of BharatNet by the private sector partner who will be selected by a competitive international bidding process.

Coverage: The 16 States covered under the project are: Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Moreover, the project will be divided into nine packages, each corresponding to one or more telecom circles, and no private investor will be awarded more than four packages to avoid monopoly.

Expected Benefits of the Project:
  • Use of innovative technology by the Private Sector Provider for the consumers;
  • Competitive tariffs for services;
  • Bridge the rural-urban divide of digital access and accelerate the achievement of Digital India.
  • Expected to increase direct and indirect employment and income generation.


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