Under BharatNet Phase-I, 24 core Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been used whereas in Phase-II, 48 & above core OFC has been used for underground OFC laying. Further, 24 & above core All Dielectric Self Supporting (ADSS) cable has been used in case of aerial OFC under BharatNet Phase-II. As part of the project, Acceptance Testing is conducted to check adherence to the standard.
Based on the observations in the draft report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, suitable steps, as required have been taken to address the quality and efficiency issues on BharatNet, inter-alia including the following:
- The Service Level Agreement based Operations &Maintenance (O&M) for BharatNet Phase-I, through professional agencies, has been entrusted to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.
- Under BharatNet Phase-II, OFC has been laid directly from Block to Gram Panchayat (GP).
- Under BharatNet Phase-II, the implementing agencies have been entrusted to carry out the O&M of the network after completing/ commissioning the work.
- BharatNet network is being given to Telecom Service Providers /Internet Service Providers under Revenue Sharing agreements to provide broadband services in rural areas.
Global Bids were invited on 20.07.2021 for implementation of BharatNet under PPP model in 16 States and opened on 27.01.2022. No response was received.
The Phase-I of the BharatNet has been implemented through three Central Public Sector Undertakings namely Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) and RailTel Corporation India Limited (RCIL). The Phase-II of the BharatNet is under implementation through BSNL and State Implementing Agencies except Punjab and Bihar where the Phase-II was implemented under Private Sector Model. In Punjab, HFCL and Vindhya Telelinks Limited (VTL) have made 4,713 Gram Panchayats (GPs) Service Ready whereas in Bihar, VTL and Polycab have made 2,669 GPs Service Ready. Further, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), the executing agency for BharatNet project has signed about 100 Agreements with Service providers for utilizing BharatNet Phase-I network in the country. BSNL has on-boarded over 700 franchisees so far for utilisation of BharatNet.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications, Shri Devusinh Chauhan in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.