Bhubaneswar: The Telecom Commission of India will provide internet facility in as many as 25 far-flung gram panchayats in the State through satellite connectivity under the Bharat Net Phase II programme.
The commission has taken this decision following a survey. Places where optical fibre cable (OFC) can’t be laid, satellite connectivity is the only option for providing internet facility to those areas, said an official.
In order to connect 2,564 gram panchayats with Broadband facility under the Bharat Net Phase II, the Telecom Commission of India has approved a Rs 350-crore project.
While the Bharat Net Phase-I is being implemented in the State to connect 4,266 gram panchayats, the rest 2,564 would be covered under Bharat Net Phase II. All 6,930 gram panchayats in the State would be provided internet facility. The entire project would be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), said its Administrator Sanjay Singh while informing the State Government about the decision of commission. The Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) has been awarded the contract to take up the entire programme in time bound manner.
As the Bharat Net Phase I execution, which is being implemented by the Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) through three Central PSBs, BSNL, Power Grid Corporation of India and RailTel, has been very tardy, the commission has awarded the contract to the State PSU, OPTCL. OFC will be laid on total route of 13, 511 kilometer on the transmission line of the OPTCL, said sources.
There will be no underground cable. While 2,539 gram panchayats will be connected though OFC, 25 would be connected through satellite. Under this backdrop, the Department of Telecommunications in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has urged the State Government to chalk out an implementation strategy by the State-Level Implementation Committee chaired by the Chief Secretary.
Once the project is completed, activities would be initiated to undertake key services such as e-Governance, e-Education and e-Health.