AHMEDABAD: India’s Gujarat is expecting to complete the digital infrastructure initiative to offer 1 Gbps Internet by March next year, and has so far deployed 18,000 kilometre of optic-fibre cable (OFC) in a record time of 10 months with a consortium of GTPL Hathway and Polycab India Limited as well as state-owned Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) as implementing partners.
“In Gujarat, we have added 18,000 kilometres of fibre in 10 months with proactive support of ecosystem players including state-run Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) and vendors-consortium, ” Dharmendra Sharma, Director— Gujarat Fibre Grid Network Limited (GFGNL) said.
The state government, according to the official, has taken a unique approach with a Service Level Agreement (SLA)-led strategy, and allowed Right-of-Way (RoW) permissions at no cost in state-owned land buildings and lands for infrastructure expansion.
Vijay Rupani-ruled state has made 3,500 gram panchayats (GP) or village blocks operational out of a total of 7,700 blocks.
The state has a target to lay 36,000 kilometres of optic fibre which according to Sharma would be done in a period of next four months with the work is likely to pick up pace in coming quarter.
Eight states including Gujarat have embarked on a state-led model to deploy mega fibre-based telecom network for the delivery of high-speed Internet.
“This (BharatNet) is state’s dream project, and we are looking at maintaining highest quality standards as well as cost-efficiency,” the official added.
BharatNet, originally conceived under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) –II regime in 2011, is Centre’s mega initiative to provide Internet connectivity to 250,000 village blocks covering more than 600,000 villages to enable digital delivery of utility services.
The state government has set up the GFGNL which is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to execute the Internet connectivity project by March 2020.
The state-wide project has been divided into two with Package A being implemented by state-controlled ITI Limited.
Under the Rs 1245.77 crore worth initiative, GTPL and Polycab, as a part of Package B, are connecting 3,767 village blocks in the Saurashtra region by deploying end‐to‐end OFC with centralised network operations centre at Gandhinagar.