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A report by Parliamentary Standing Committee
Digital India’s Project BharatNet had spread its wings in Chandigarh. They have completed the project in terms of laying lines. Department of Telecommunication has failed to provide a Single Fibre to the Home Connection in Chandigarh yet. In a recent report of Standing Committee on Information Technology showed its concern over Network utilization which is yet not accomplished. So, Chandigarh lags behind in a Digital India Project BharatNet. The Committee note that BharatNet have been successfully implemented in States/UTs like Kerela, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Puducherry, Haryana, Rajasthan, etc.
However, the Committee are of the view that the status of utilization of BharatNet is still very low and more concrete efforts are still required to increase the utilization. The Committee feel dissatisfied that even if the project has been 100 percent completed in Chandigarh since last year, yet no single fibre to the Home connection has been provided so far.
Further emphasizing on Digital India Committee stated that we need not to emphasize that BharatNet is the first pillar of Digital India in rural areas and the achievement of the objectives of Digital India requires active participation of all the stakeholders viz. the service providers, State Governments, end users, etc. Since the States also have been given the responsibility, utilization and implementation of last mile architecture, the Committee hope that utilization of the network by the States/UTs should increase substantially. The Committee feel that there is a need to chalk out clear cut strategy for better utilization of the network with active involvement and participation of States/UTs. The Committee desire that States/UTs should be approached so that horizontal connectivity to various GPs, institutions should also be provided at the earliest.
What is BharatNet
BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, said to be 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 especially in Gram Panchayats.