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Bharatnet connecting india

Currently, only less than 25 per cent of the 65,475 gram panchayats are active in the country. These gram panchayats have optic fibre connectivity, thus, having active internet under Centre s BharatNet project. The central government push towards digital payments and proper implementation of BharatNet programme is necessary to improve broadband penetration in India.

Connectivity is a big problem. With the current model of BharatNet, it may be possible for the government to succeed in its target coverage of 1,00,000 gram panchayats by March 2017 but it may be difficult to provide active connectivity in these hinterland areas. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model needs to be implemented for BharatNet to function effectively. When the appropriate infrastructure has been laid down, it should be bid out to operators to find customers, maintain, collect payments, and then give a fixed amount to the government. Even the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended that a PPP model should be the preferred means of implementation strategy for BharatNet. A PPP model has two preferred models of implementation - Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT)/Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT). In a PPP, private sector provides efficient service and delivery while the government works as a regulator and enabler to overcome market failures. But the problem is not limited to merely laying down infrastructure. There are issues with private sector participation such as lack of suitable market in the rural areas.

Currently, three public-sector undertakings – Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, RailTel Corporation of India and Power Grid Corporation of India – are laying down the optic fibre cable.

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