Outlay of Rs 1.88 lakh crore to cover all inhabited villages under BharatNet Program
Ahmedabad, Feb 10: Number of Gram Panchayats connected under BharatNet has increased from 58 in May 2014 to 2.10 lakh as of December 2023. Recently, the Government has amended the BharatNet Program to cover all the inhabited villages at an outlay of Rs 1.88 lakh crore. The information was provided by Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan in Rajya Sabha on February 9, 2024 while replying to a query raised by RS MP Parimal Nathwani.
Minister’s statement pointed out that 5G services were launched in India on 1st of October 2022 and within a span of 14 months more than 4.2 lakh 5G sites are providing connectivity across 742 districts. This is the fastest roll-out of 5G anywhere in the world.
The minister stated that to further improve telecom connectivity, a total of 41,160 mobile towers have been sanctioned with an outlay of Rs 41,331 crore to provide 4G connectivity to about 55 thousand villages.
According to the statement of the minister, the number of base transceiver stations has increased from 6.49 lakh in May 2014 to 28 lakh in December 2023, while the length of optical fibre laid has gone up from 10.62 lakh km to 88.12 lakh km. The number of internet users were 25.15 crore in 2014, which has gone up to 88.12 crore in 2023, while median internet speed has gone up from 1.3 Mbps to 75.8 Mbps during the corresponding period. Data cost which was Rs 269 per Gb in 2014, has come down to Rs 9.94 per Gb in 2023.
As per the statement of the minister, the government has amended the BharatNet Program for upgradation of existing BharatNet network, focus on utilisation of the network through BharatNet Udyamis, i.e. village level entrepreneurs, operation & maintenance of the entire network, dedicated Network Operation centre, expanding scope to connect all inhabited villages and to provide 1.5 crore home fibre connections.