CHENNAI: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the public private partnership mode for the rollout of the ambitious BharatNet project that aims to take broadband internet services to villages.
Under the approved scheme, viability gap funding of Rs19,041 crore is being granted for BharatNet development in 16 states, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said during a press conference.
The 16 states are Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Prasad said that till date, 1.56 lakh out of the targeted 2.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with broadband.
“The PPP model shall be executed in 3.61 lakh villages,” added.
The telecom ministry said that the Department of Telecommunication will separately work out the modalities for the remaining states and UTs.
The scheme will entail a 30-year agreement with private players and the entire project will be divided into nine packages.
“No player will get more than four packages,” Prasad said.