Seven states propose own broadband network rollout
Seven states have proposed to come up with their own model to
roll out broadband network proposed under Rs 72,000-crore BharatNet
prorgamme, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday. “Seven
states have offered to come up with state or SPV (special purpose
vehicle) run model. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have
already been talking about it,” said Prasad after a meeting with state
IT ministers and principal secretaries.
Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal have said they
will develop their own model for broadband network rollout as some
expressed displeasure over the work of central public sector companies
involved in National Optical Fibre Network. Representatives from almost
all states, except Delhi and some North Eastern states, were present in
the meeting to discuss new model to roll out the broadband network.
Haryana said it is exploring possibility of state-led model for the project.
“Keep this fact in mind that you are creating an integrated
BharatNet, so there has to be certain standard. I appeal to you, give
your views soon. If a state government opts for a state-led model, the
existing NOFN architecture will migrate to new model,” Prasad told the
The Centre has given the option to roll out broadband network as per
three models namely, the current model operated by Central PSUs, SPV or
state run and private sector-led model.
At present, NOFN project, which aims to connect 2.5 lakh village
panchayats by 2016, is being operated by SPV Bharat Broadband Network
and project is being executed by CPSUs BSNL, RailTel and Powergrid.
Andhra Pradesh advisor for e-governance and IT J Satyanarayana said
the state government expects to roll out broadband in 30 to 36 months
and provide connection with download speed of 10 megabit per second for
Rs 150 per month.
An eight member committee constituted to suggest measures for
successful roll out of NoFN project has also suggested proposals has
worked on design of BharatNet model in place of NoFN.
The redesigning and remodelling with additions, the Bharat Net
project has gone up three fold to Rs 72,778 crore from about Rs 20,000
crore approved earlier. In a separate policy measure, the centre had
earmarked Rs 498 crore as financial incentive to companies for setting
up call centres under a new BPO scheme, which is expected to create
around 1.5 lakh jobs directly.
The minister said the government will float expression of interest
(EoI) under the BPO scheme after state governments submit their inputs.
He said that while funding will be given by central government but state
government will have to play an important role in providing assistance
to these BPOs.