Bharatnet Project

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 19, 2022, 6:30

The Bharatnet Project is a National Optical Fibre Network operation that aims to provide a minimum of 100 Mbit/s broadband connectivity to 250,000-gram panchayats in the country, including almost 625,000 villages.

The BharatNet project aims to achieve the goal of Digital India by enhancing the middle layer of India's nationwide broadband internet. It was established by the Department of Telecommunications, which is part of the Government of India's Ministry of Communications.

Bharatnet Project Objectives

  • To build a highly scalable network infrastructure that is available to all the people in the nation's interiors without any discrimination.
  • To provide affordable broadband access to all families as well as institutions with the capacity for all ranging from 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps.
  • To make the vision of Digital India feasible by collaborating with states and the commercial sector.

BharatNet Project Developing Phases

  • The Government of India initiated this project on 25th October 2011 with the name "the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)" and later updated this name to BharatNet Project.
  • The BharatNet project did not go as expected for Phase-I (between 2011 and 2014), as merely 350 kilometres of optical fibre were deployed out of the 300,000 kilometres.
  • The BharatNet Project Phase-I got its actual boost from 2014 to 2017.
  • Phase-I of the BharatNet project connected 100,000 village councils spanning 300,000 villages and was completed by December 2017.
  • Phase-II of the BharatNet project will connect the remaining 150,000 village councils across 325,000 villages in 16 states and will be completed by 31st March 2023.
  • The second phase of the BharatNet project was originally scheduled to be finished by August 2021 but was delayed owing to the lockdowns and mobility restrictions imposed by several states as a result of COVID-19.
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BharatNet Project Level of Connectivity

National Level Connectivity: GPON Technology

  • The government has facilitated the Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology at the national level.
  • A GPON uses a point-to-multipoint system to transmit fibre cables and communications, allowing a single optical fibre to service several homes.
  • Using bigger and variable-length packets, this technology delivers increased bandwidth and efficiency.
  • The encryption In this shared technology ensures data protection.

Community Block Level Connectivity

  • The government has enabled an optical line terminal at the level of the sub-district block.
  • It will serve as the endpoint of a passive optical network for national service providers, converting electrical signals from the service provider's equipment to fibre optic signals utilized by the passive optical network.

Gram Panchayat Level Connectivity

  • This will provide connectivity at the subdistrict-block level to each gram panchayat through the optical line terminal with the help of an optical fibre point of presence.
  • This technology delivers high bandwidth, low maintenance, and a scalable network but also needs time to proceed with the physical network.
  • In this shared network, end-to-end encryption is utilized to protect data security.

Last-Mile Connectivity

  • At this level of connectivity, the government enables the Hotspot (Wi-Fi) at the village level within each gram panchayat.
  • Each gram panchayat would be connected through low-maintenance fibre optic technology.
  • Under this connectivity, the broadband connection facility would be provided to each house, helping village children to study and adults to work or start their businesses.

The Bharatnet project is the world's largest rural broadband connectivity scheme, created entirely by Indian enterprises under the Make in India initiative. It is similar to the Indian government's other major initiatives like "Digital India" and "Make in India", which serve as both enablers and beneficiaries.

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FAQs on Bharatnet Project

Q1. When was the Bharatnet Project launched?

Ans. the Bharatnet Project launched on 25th October 2011.

Q2. What was the Bharatnet Project named initially?

Ans. Bharatnet Project was named the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN).

Q3. The national-level connectivity of the Bharatnet Project is based on which technology?

Ans. The national-level connectivity of the Bharatnet Project is based on Gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology.

Q4. What is the expected date for the completion of Bharatnet Project Phase-II?

Ans. Phase-II of the Bharatnet Project is expected to be completed on 31st March 2023