Bharat net Project

Broadband access to every citizen is a key pillar of Digital India.

BharatNet has a vision to establish a scalable network by 2017 towards providing affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps to all rural households and institutions.

This project has evolved from the earlier National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project of providing 100 Mbps to all gram panchayats (GPs).

 At present, a special purpose vehicle, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), under the telecom ministry is handling the roll out of optical fibre network. The project is being executed by BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid.

BharatNet will provide impetus to India's economy, more employment opportunities, improved service delivery (online e-gram panchayat services, e-governance, e-education, e-health, e-medicine, e-grievances, e-agriculture, e-citizen, etc), Make in IndiaDigital India and Startup Indiainitiatives.

One of the main concerns of this was the slow implementation by three central public-sector undertakings (CPSUs)— BSNL, PGCIL and Railtel, diffused control and the relation between Bharat Broadband Network Ltd, the company managing the project and the CPSUs, and lack of appropriate ownership by BBNL.

Phases of the project

  • The first phase envisages providing one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines have been achieved.
  • The second phase will provide connectivity to all 2,50,500 gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fiber, fiber over power lines, radio and satellite media. It is to be completed by March 2019. For success in phase-2, which will also involve laying of OFC over electricity poles, the participation of states will be important. This is a new element of the BharatNet strategy as the mode of connectivity by aerial OFC has several advantages, including lower cost, speedier implementation, easy maintenance and utilization of existing power line infrastructure. The last mile connectivity to citizens was proposed to be provided creating Wi-Fi hotspots in gram panchayats
  • In the third phase from 2019 to 2023, state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fiber between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.



Bharat Net is being funded through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF) was established with the fundamental objective of providing access to ‘Basic’ telegraph services to people in the rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices. Subsequently the scope was widened to provide subsidy support for enabling access to all types of telegraph services including mobile services, broadband connectivity and creation of infrastructure like OFC in rural and remote areas.


Practice question

1. Optical fibre works on the principle of which of the following principle?

  • Total Internal reflection
  • Dispersion
  • Scattering
  • None of the above

Ans: a