SMT. ARUNA SUNDARARAJAN, SECRETARY DoT
AND CHAIRMAN TELECOM COMMISSION, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA.
Under Bharatnet programme (which is also called as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)), Karnataka State is to give 100 Mbps connectivity using Optical Fibre Cable to all 6092 Gram Panchayats (GP). The project was started in April, 2013 for 5631 Gram Panchayats, later on 461 new GPs were added to this project in July, 2017 making a total of 6092 GPs. As on date 6041 GPs (99%) have Optical Fibre terminated at the building. At 5677 GPs (93.2%) the services are tested for High Speed Internet. It is targeted to complete Karnataka by 30-09-2017. The budget allocated for Karnataka State for this project is Rs.652 Crores.
Since, most of the network rollout is complete, it is time for the utilization of the network, especially for the benefit of the citizens residing in rural and remote areas. As on date about 3800 GP offices are using the service for online updation of various schemes and delivering G2C services. DoT has requested the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to leverage NOFN network to provide the services. As on date, 346 high speed broadband connections on FTTH have been provided in rural areas by BSNL. 643 villages have Wi-Fi connectivity, where the citizens can access internet upto 100 Mbps free per day per user. BSNL has drawn plans to provide 20,000 FTTH connections in these rural areas by using NOFN. In Mysore, district 206 GPs (out of 268) are already integrated to KSWAN using NOFN. This will enable the GPs to extend all the Karnataka Government services to the citizens. It is proposed to enable Wi-Fi in 2000 more villages with the support of the State Government and additional 2000 villages with the support of USO funds.
With internet access penetration in rural and remote areas, it is expected that the economy of these villages will improve by increased chances of employment and economic activities. The health services, educational services can be delivered at the door step of the villages, without wasting time and energy for travelling. This is in addition to giving services by Karnataka State through schemes like Bhoomi, Kaveri etc. It is requested to give wide publicity for availing the services in these areas either through BSNL or any other Telecom Service Provider.