Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited: BBNL plans to undertake work, maintenance work on BharatNet infra

NEW DOWN: In an effort to boost responsibility and bring stability to rural Internet services, BBNL plans to undertake the work and maintenance of fiber optic infrastructure in the BharatNet project, a senior official said.

"In cases where my system is out of order, I am dependent on BSNL for the time being. Full maintenance of the fibers under BharatNet is done by BSNL. We are planning to maintain the growth of the fiber we have set. We went to USOF Universal Service Fund) and requested permission, "said BBNL chairman and MD Sarvesh Singh at PTI.

Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL) has allocated about 70% of the rural broadband deployment project to BSNL and about 15% of Railtel and Powergrid.

BBNL used the existing 2-kilometer BSNL fiber and put fiber up to about 3 kilometers per kilometer to link more than 1.27 lakh gram panchayats (GPs) to broadband high-speed network.

The project, which began in 2011, has lost several deadlines for linking the 2.5 lakh panchayats. The last deadline was in March 2019.

While 1.19 lak GPs have ready service, often most of the network was found to be non-functional.

BSNL is responsible for the preventive and corrective maintenance of the fiber optic section linking the panchayats gram, but the responsibility of the other components of the network was in other services. Due to this multi-vendor system and the lack of mechanism for accurate debugging, the BharatNet network suffers in most GPs.

"We have hired 800 people with a network maintenance contract," said Singh.

BBNL completed network deployment at 1.25 lakh GPs under Phase 1 in December 2018.

Singh said BBNL's priority is to complete the development of broadband services in the remaining 1.25 lakh panchayats at the earliest and then start setting up the entire fiber optic infrastructure on its own in the third phase.

"Our goal is to build infrastructure, we are still at the level of 45%, we have to reach 2.5 points." Initially, we want to finish the project, "Singh said.

In Phase 2, BBNL has worked with eight states – Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tzarkhand, Tamil Nadu, Ontasa and Telangana, who will develop the broadband network in the countryside.

"Approximately 50% of physicians are with the countries where they will develop a broadband network, 33% with BSNL. We have approved a BSNL contract for about half of the GPs covered by it and will seek to submit a detailed project report for the rest, "Singh said.

He said that the project has been delayed mainly due to the issue of the right of transit in all states, and especially in the forest sector.

"The right of way has been resolved to a great extent with the states that are on board. We are now expecting a rapid run from BharatNet," said Singh.