Bharat Net is an ambitious initiative by the NDA government to fully connect all Gram Panchayats in the country through optical fibre cable (OFC) by bridging the connectivity gap between gram panchayats and Blocks for providing broadband.
The Digital India programme is expected to generate higher investment and create more jobs. The project, launched in 2012, is being executed in two phases. Phase-1, successfully completed in December 2017, covered around one lakh gram panchayats and Phase-2 to bring in additional 1.5 lakh gram panchayats under this scheme by March 2019.
As of 31 December 2017, telecom sector was lined up with a total investment of Rs 3,07,740.98 crore. Of which, investment by central and state government amounted to Rs 69,206.54 crore and Rs 4,718.84 crore respectively. Private sector, which dominates this sector, is ready with investment proposals of Rs 2,33,815.6 crore. Among the major telcos, the Reliance group alone accounts for 56 percent of the total investment.
The Budget stated that by the end of 2017-18, high speed broadband connectivity on optical fibre will be available in more than 1,50,000 gram panchayats, under BharatNet. A DigiGaon initiative will be launched to provide tele-medicine, education and skills through digital technology.