Fibre Grid Project: Andhra Government to Sign Pact With Cisco on March 17

Published: 13th March 2016 06:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th March 2016 06:25 AM   |  A+A-

VISAKHAPATNAM:  Taking another step to realise its dream of Andhra Pradesh Fibre Grid, the state government will enter into an agreement with digital networking giant Cisco India to provide Internet connectivity to every household in Andhra Pradesh by 2018.

The government and the Cisco India will sign the agreement during a meeting scheduled to be held between Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Cisco executive chairman John Chambers along with Cisco India and SAARC president Dinesh Malkani, in Visakhapatnam on March 17.

Fibre.jpgThe project is aimed to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure to provide on demand, affordable and end-to-end broadband connectivity to all households and organisations by 2018.

As part of its implementation, an overhead optical fibre network will be laid over about 22,500 km across the state, using the existing network of electricity poles and connect all households which have power connectivity. The project is a first of its kind broadband project in India, which is part of the country’s largest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initiative of Digital India. This would also play a major role in implementation of the government’s ambitious e-Pragati project to keep all government transactions online.

“The Chief Minister recently held discussions with the Cisco top officials, including John Chambers, to explore the possibilities of the networking major setting up a development centre in the state. Cisco is already working on its first smart city concept named Golden Mile project and is also exploring the possibilities of using Cisco Technologies in the new capital Amaravati,” said a top official in the IT, electronics and communications department.

Besides the announcements pertaining to the collaboration over developing Visakhapatnam into a Smart City, the officials did not rule out the possibility of other announcements, including establishment of an innovation centre by Cisco at Vijayawada and also a skill development centre in Visakhapatnam during the meeting. The company would partner with the state government by sharing its expertise in IT and network architecture as well as education and healthcare. It has also evinced interest in disaster management technologies.

Cisco’s partner Tera Software has bagged the phase-I works of AP Fibre Grid Project conceived by the state government which is likely to hand over the Letter of Intent (LoI) to the former at the function in Vizag. As the L1 vendor, Tera Software has placed a bid for `320 crore with the Cisco as its technology partner. In the first phase, a total of 2,450 points of presence (PoPs) will be established across the state at the state, district and mandal level, to provide Internet connectivity to more than 2,500 villages. The objective would be to enable the customers as well as ecosystem partners like local cable operators to have easy access to the network.

According to the IT department authorities, the Cisco is trying to build an entire ecosystem for manufacturing in India besides setting up its own factory and the state government is optimistic to convince the Cisco top honchos for establishing the factory in Andhra Pradesh.

Though initially the project was estimated to cost `5,000 crore,  the CM has suggested use of the power poles for surface network of the grid. The government plans to provide high-speed broadband Internet connectivity at `100-150 a month. Efforts are on to provide 10-20 Mbps connectivity for all households, commencing June.

 Internet for all

  •  Infra to be in place to provide on-demand and affordable broadband connectivity to all households by 2018
  • Overhead optical fibre to be laid over 22,500 km across AP
  • Cisco to share expertise in IT, network architecture with govt
  • Connections to 2,500 villages in 1st phase


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