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Bharat Net

This topic provides information about Bharat Net.

National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)

National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.

The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs). To achieve this, the existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary. Dark fibre network thus created was lit by appropriate technology thus creating sufficient bandwidth at the Gram Panchayats.

Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators and Content providers to launch various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version - BharatNet was conceived as a nation-wide broadband network.



BharatNet shall be a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.

The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India.


The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network.  The three-phase implementation of the BharatNet project is as follows

  • The first phase envisages providing one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines by March 2017.
  • 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 December 2018. 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 2018 to 2023, state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fiber between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.
  • As on 23.07.2017, the status of implementation of BharatNet is as under:-
    - No. of GPs where OFC laying is completed : 100,299 GPs
    - Optical Fibre Cable laid : 221,925 Kms
    - Broadband Connectivity provided in GPs : 25,426 GPs

Related resources

  1. Detailed optical fiber connectivity plan pertaining to various blocks and GPs
  2. List of Gram Panchayats across various districts of India
  3. List of active Gram Panchayats connected live on the Network and their GIS VIEW

Source : Bharat BroadBand Network Limited

Durga Charan Ojha Nov 15, 2017 04:05 PM

Internet to rural areas will be a great help to people. Out of imagination for them. which is also going to strengthen Digital India concept..

Ashwin Nov 14, 2017 07:20 AM

Which company is supplying optical fibre for this project sir/guys ??

Sudhakar Nov 13, 2017 05:32 AM

Hi speed internet connectivity in rural India can help fuel rural entrepreneurship, access to better markets for goods and services produced in rural India.

Peace Oct 30, 2017 02:49 PM

Along with any initiative mentioning the name of ministry under which it is being carried out would be more informative

Srinivas Moorthy Oct 30, 2017 10:50 AM

Satellite communication should be used extensively to reach the rural India. Similar to DTH TV, subsidy to be passed directly to users by offering lower rates like in Australia and Europe. Every village can have a free Wi-FI spot immediately if VSAT technology is adopted.

Providing 1 GB at GP level will not be useful as last mile would remain a challenge. Remember FIbre network requires high maintenance and prone to cut due to various developmental works etc..

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