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Budget 2019: Over 1 lakh gram panchayats connected under Bharat Net project

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A total of 121,652 gram panchayats were connected by optical fibre cable, and 116,411 panchayats were made service ready

Budget 2019: Over 1 lakh gram panchayats connected under Bharat Net project
The Bharat Net project has connected over 1 lakh gram panchayats through high-optical fibre network under the phase, providing broadband access to over 20 crore rural Indians in about 2.5 lakh villages, the government said in the Union Budget document.
As of December 2, 2018, 301,154 km optical fibre cable has been laid. A total of 121,652 gram panchayats were connected by optical fibre cable, and 116,411 panchayats were made service ready, noted the document.
Bharat Net Project (earlier national optical fibre network) was launched in October, 2011 to provide broadband connectivity to all 2.5 lakh gram Panchayats.
The government has proposed to setup five lakh Wi-Fi hotspots which will provide broadband access to five crore rural citizens. So far, the government has installed Wi-Fi hotspots at 39,359 panchayats, and out of them, 10,775 panchayats have already started serving over 11 lakh subscribers, added the document.
The government said it has disbursed a total Rs 17,786 crore to connect all gram panchayats in the country under the last mile connectivity model.
In the fiscal year 2018-19, the government had allocated Rs 10,000 crore for Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Out of this, Rs 8,175 crore were allotted for the Bharat Net Project.
For the implementation of the Phase-II, the Telecom Commission has decided the model for implementation in each state namely State-led model, CPSU–led model, Private Sector model and Connectivity on Satellite media.
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