HYDERABAD: If all goes well, big telecom firms like Jio, Airtel and Vodafone would soon lease the infrastructure laid down under T-Fiber to provide high-speed internet to the people of the State. All major telecom companies have expressed their interest to the State government, sources said.
Speaking to Express, Information Technology, Electronics and Communication (ITEC) Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said, “All major telecom firms are eagerly waiting for the project to be completed. Once the infrastructure is in place, they would want to partner with us.”
Under T-Fiber, the State government is laying optic fibre cables across Telangana. About 68,000 km of ducts for the optic fibre cables have already been laid by leveraging the trenches dug for drinking-water pipelines under Mission Bhagiratha.
T-Fiber will only provide the infrastructure and not act as an internet service provider (ISP), except for government-to-government (G2G) and government-to-citizen (G2C) services. This is reiterated in a T-Fiber booklet, which says, “(T-Fiber) shall provision bandwidth and lease infrastructure to private players on non-discriminatory and non-monopolistic manner without entering into the competition (except in the delivery of G2C and G2G services).”
Once the development of T-Fiber is completed, telecom firms will pay the State government to take the infrastructure on lease. For instance, a telecom giant recently announced high-speed fibre-optic internet plans. For the company to reach out to rural pockets, T-Fiber would be an attractive option, sources said.
Apart from the 68,000 km of ducts that have already been laid down by leveraging Mission Bhagiratha trenches, T-Fiber will take up additional ducting and trenching on around 15,000 km in the State. After the laying of ducts is completed, the government will lay the fibre optic cables.
For the same, Ranjan said, the ITEC department, after extensive consultations and bidding, finalised three companies — Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Sterlite, and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL). These companies will also look after the maintenance of the cables for seven years. It will not be necessary to dig the earth again to lay these cables as outlets are being created at 500-m intervals, from where cables will be blown into the ducts, sources said.