DCC clears satellite connectivity for telecom networks; Rs 19,041 cr BharatNet tender: DoT Secy

By: |
July 05, 2021 9:41 PM

This will help telecom operators in connecting their mobile towers in tough terrains by using satellite services through VSAT (very-small-aperture terminal) system.  

bharatnetThe VSAT service providers will also be able to support telecom operators for setting up wi-fi hotspots. 

Telecom department’s apex body the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) has cleared a provision of using satellite connectivity in telecom networks to provide services in remote areas where it is difficult to lay optical fibre network, a senior official said on Monday.

Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash told PTI that the DCC (formerly the Telecom Commission) has also cleared the Request for Proposal for the rollout of BharatNet project for broadband services in villages in 16 states in public private partnership mode with viability gap funding of Rs 19,041 crore.

“With a view of ease of doing business, the DCC has approved provision of cellular backhaul connectivity via satellite through VSAT for telecom services as per Trai recommendation.

“This will help telecom companies in providing service in far flung areas where it is difficult to lay optical fibre,” Prakash said.

The decision will allow commercial VSAT CUG (closed user group) service providers to provide backhaul connectivity for cellular mobile services through satellite using VSAT to the telecom operators.

This will help telecom operators in connecting their mobile towers in tough terrains by using satellite services through VSAT (very-small-aperture terminal) system.

The new permission will give an initial edge to Bharti Airtel as the Bharti Group has invested in satellite communications firm OneWeb.

The VSAT service providers will also be able to support telecom operators for setting up wi-fi hotspots.

Prakash further said within a week of the Cabinet approving public private partnership mode for the rollout of BharatNet in 16 states with viability gap funding of Rs 19,041 crore, the DCC has cleared RFP for the project.

“DoT (Department of Telecom) will come out with tender for the PPP mode rollout of Bharatnet in 16 states in seven days,” Prakash said.

The Cabinet had last week approved PPP mode to expedite rollout of BharatNet project for broadband services in villages.

The 16 states under the scheme are—Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

The decision to involve private players was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on August 15, 2020 that around 6 lakh villages in the country will be connected with broadband in 1,000 days.

According to official data, 1.56 lakh out of the 2.5 lakh village panchayats have been connected with broadband.

The government has prepared nine packages for the project by clubbing some of the smaller states. It announced that no single player will get more than four packages.

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