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Centre looks at incorporating Andhra Pradesh fibre model in Bharat Net

Visakhapatnam: Stating that the Union government is looking at replicating the model of overhead fibre network being set up by the AP State Fibernet Limited (APSFL) in different parts of the country, Union telecom secretary JS Deepak said Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) and the telecom department will undertake a detailed study on this in the next two months.

Addressing a media conference during his visit to the city on Wednesday, Deepak said the second phase of the Bharat Net programme being implemented by BSNL, which aims at providing broadband to all gram panchayats of the country, will include laying of overhead fibre network in various parts of the country depending on the feasibility.

However, replying to a query on whether the Union government will fund the APSFL project as it is involved in a project with a similar objective of BBNL, he said, “We won’t be able to fund what has been done until now by APSFL, but we’ll look at funding in the future.”

He said during the first phase, while BBNL is already in the process of connecting 1 lakh gram panchayats in the country through underground fiber network, the second phase, which is expected to kick off by October, will also include the overhead fibre network.

Having visited the facilities of APSFL and sub-stations where overhead fibre network have been installed by APSFL, he said, “We will be doing a detailed analysis of data and GIS mapping to identify areas where overhead fibre optic network can be undertaken. We expect to complete this by June this year. Phase two of the Bharat Net project will begin from October this year covering 1.5 lakh gram panchayats and will be completed by September 2018.”

Noting that BBNL is already laying underground optic fibres of 400 km per day as part of the Bharat Net project, Deepak said further consultations will be held with APSFL officials on technical aspects of the project in the coming days.

Meanwhile, he said that as part of the Bharat Net project, a total of 6 lakh kilometres of fibre will be laid across the country. Deepak said the telecom revolution has already led to a massive increase in internet connectivity. However, the next revolution will be by providing higher bandwidth through optic fibre network across the country. “A 10% increase in broadband connectivity relates to a growth of 1.5% GDP,” he said adding that it will also mean higher per capita.

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