•BharatNet is a flagship mission implemented by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
•It is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up by the Government of India under the Companies Act, 1956 with an authorized capital of Rs 1000 crore.
[Currently, it is being implemented by the Department of Telecommunication under the Ministry of Communications.]
•National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) was launched in October 2011 and was renamed as Bharat Net Project in 2015
•It aims yo facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.
•And connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats
•The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country
•Dark fibre: It is an unused optical fibre that has been laid but is not currently being used in fibre-optic communications
【Recently, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) ordered the scrapping of a Rs 1,950 crore tender for the BharatNet project in Tamil Nadu】
•The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the states contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.
•The three-phase implementation of the BharatNet project is as follows:
1st Phase: Provide one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines by December 2017.
Second Phase: Provide connectivity to all the gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fibre, fibre over power lines, radio and satellite media. It is to be completed by March 2019.
Third Phase: From 2019 to 2023, a state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fibre between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.
•The participation of states became important in the second phase which involved laying of OFC over electricity poles.
• This was a new element of the BharatNet strategy as the mode of connectivity by aerial OFC has several advantages, including lower cost, speedier implementation, easy maintenance and utilization of existing power line infrastructure