Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister Electronics and Information Technology in a written reply in Lok Sabha informed Parliament that all gram panchayat will be provided high-speed broadband connections under BharatNet project by March 2020. Key Highlights As per the government, as of today 128870-gram panchayats have been connected with optical fiber under BharatNet Project. In Phase-I of BharaNet project government connected 1 lakh gram panchayats and the Phase II of the project is under implementation, and a total of 2 lakh GPs (gram panchayats) are directed to be completed by March 2020.
On 19 July 2017 Union Cabinet approved a modified strategy for implementing BharatNet under which, remaining 1, 50,000 (approx.) Gram Panchayats in India are to be provided broadband connectivity in Phase-II of the project. The government has set a target date to complete roll out of optical-based high-speed broadband network across all panchayats as March 2019 which was later modified to 2020 following the delay.
In the initial implementation of the project was on account of delay in initial commencement of the project as the work on BharatNet project began in the 2nd half of 2014 due to a field survey of GPs and pilot testing of technology model. In NER (northeast region), gram panchayats are located in widely expansive hilly and remote areas and the monsoon season is also very long which creates a problem too. Also, only underground optical fiber cables have been used to cover all panchayats.
This problem of delay has been resolved since May 2016 with the constitution of an empowered committee under Telecom Secretary, Steering Committee under USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) administrator and state committee under Chief General Manager (CGM), BSNL.
The project seeks to provide affordable last-mile high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country