The very ambitious ‘BharatNet’ project, announced earlier by the Indian Goverment is getting some much-needed additional funds in the just concluded Budget.
According to announcements made by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, BharatNet, a project which aims to lay a cross country optical fibre network for high-speed broadband internet connectivity in rural years, will now get a stepped up, ₹10,000 crore (~$1.5Bn) of funding to complete the project.
Accordingly, high-speed broadband on optical fibre will be available in over 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots and access to digital services at low tariffs, in the year 2017-18. The project might witness further expansion in the near future.
In his speech during the just concluded Budget 2017 presentation, FM Arun Jaitley said,
Under the Bharat Net, optical fibre has been laid in 1,55,000 kms. I have stepped up allocation for Bharat Net project to Rs 10,000 crore in 2017-18 and by the end of 2017-18, high speed broadband on optical fibre will be available in more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with hotspots and access to digital services at low tariff.
What is also interesting to note here, is the fact that a staggering 155K kms. of optical fibre cables have already been laid. The additional allocation of funding is to expand those lines to now reach a whopping 1.5 Lac gram panchayats within the country.
In a related development, the Finance minister also announced various incentives related to cashless payments. You can read all about the same in our coverage here.