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Cabinet approves Rs 1.39 lakh cr for connecting 6.4 lakh villages with broadband

The Union Cabinet has approved the final phase of the last-mile optical fiber-based broadband connectivity plan, covering 6.4 lakh villages across India under the BharatNet project. This initiative is supported by a budget of Rs 1.39 lakh crore.

Through this enhancement, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) seeks to accelerate the endeavor of linking all 6.4 lakh villages within the upcoming two and a half years. The ongoing progress has seen nearly 1.94 lakh villages already integrated into the BharatNet project.

BBNL’s Collaborative Endeavor

  • Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), a subsidiary of the state-controlled BSNL, will collaborate with village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to offer the final leg of connectivity.
  • BBNL will provide customer premise equipment and additional fibre required for connecting homes while local entrepreneurs have been tasked with maintaining the network.

Empowering Employment and Expansion

Beyond its financial implications, this initiative bears the potential to generate a substantial employment opportunity, envisaging a staggering 250,000 jobs. This visionary project crystallized its form subsequent to a meticulously executed pilot program across four districts, achieving an impressive expansion to encompass 60,000 villages across the nation within a mere year.

About Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL)

  • BharatNet, recognized as Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is a public sector undertaking established under the Department of Telecommunications, a division under the Ministry of Communications within the Indian Government.
  • The primary aim of BharatNet is to establish, oversee, and manage the National Optical Fibre Network, thereby delivering broadband connectivity to all 250,000 gram panchayats across the nation.
  • Encompassing around 625,000 villages, BBNL’s initiative bolsters the fundamental structure of India’s countrywide broadband internet, aligning with the mission of achieving Digital India.

Key Points for Competitive Exams

  • Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) founded on: 25 February 2012

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