Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS

DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS

 

RAJYA SAHA

UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 3409

TO BE ANSWERED ON 31ST MARCH, 2017

 

GRAM PANCHAYATS CONNECTED THROUGH OFCs

  1. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:

Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:

(a)The Number of Gram Panchayats (GPs) connected through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) as on 15 March, 2017;

 

(b)Out of the GPs where OFC have been laid, how many have live and functioning internet;

 

(c)The steps taken by Government to effectively resolve last mile connectivity challenges;

 

(d)The expected timeline by which all GPs under NOFN project would have live and functioning internet; and

 

(e)Whether Government is monitoring the functioning of DoT with regard to disbursal of funds towards NOFN project after Parliamentary Committee on IT expressed its displeasure towards DoT’s lack of proactive involvement in the project?

 

ANSWER

THE MINISTER OF STATE (IC) OF THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS & MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS

(SHRI MANOJ SINHA)

 

(a)Phase-I of Bharat Net to connect 1,00,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country is being implemented currently. As on 19.03.2017, trenching and ducting has been completed for 2,20,643 Km (97,947 GPs), Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has been laid for 1,78,917 Km (78, 478 GPs).

 

(b)As on 19.03.2017, 16,833 Gram Panchayats have been provided with broadband connectivity.

 

(c)Steps taken by the Government to effectively resolve last mile challengers are as below:

  1. Non discriminatory access will be given to all service providers for provision of services.
  2. Telecom Commission has approved setting up of Wi-Fi Hotspots in all the Gram Panchayats in the country, leveraging the infrastructure of Bharat Net for provision of services to citizens in rural areas, with funding from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
  3. The following schemes have also been approved by Telecom Commission, with funding from USOF:
  4. Scheme for setting up of 25,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots at rural telephone exchanges of BSNL.
  5. Wi-Fi Choupals to be set up by Common Service Centre-SPV under MeitY at 5,000 Gram Panchayats using Bharat Net infrastructure.

iii. Pilot Projects for testing technology and/or commercial model for last mile architecture.

 

(d)Bharat Net Project to provide broadband connectivity to all GPs is scheduled to be completed by December, 2018.

 

(e)Empowered committee under Secretary, Department of Telecom (DoT) and steering committee headed by Administrator, USOF have been set up by the Department of Telecom for monitoring and resolution of issues regarding Bharat Net. Funds for Bharat Net are made available to USOF from consolidated fund of India by Ministry of Finance after Parliament’s approval.

The proposed, allotment & disbursement of funds towards Bharat Net/ NOFN for the years 2012-13 to 2016-17 is given below:

(Rs. In crore)

YearProposedAllotmentDisbursement
2012-132555.00405.00405.00
2013-1410695.00514.00514.00
2014-157306.001351.861351.86
2015-20164800.002415.102415.10
2016-17 (till 23.03.2017)6462.00*4617.004617.00

 

*Rs. 6000 crore has been allocated for Bharat Net in FY 2016-17.

********