State owned telecom infrastructure provider Bharat Broadband Network (BBNL) is all set to make its entry into the internet business. The idea behind this step is to deliver government to citizen e-services across the nation, starting April 2016.
BBNL has been specially set up for implementation of the government’s ambitious Rs. 21,000 national broadband initiative, National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN). NOFN seeks to provide each gram panchayat with a minimum 10 megabits per second (mbps) broadband optic fibre connection.
BBNL will file an application for the license of an internet service provider (ISP) once the Telecom Commission and rural development ministry formalize the financing terms of the e-services network.
A BBNL official said, “We expect an official go-ahead from Telecom Commission to apply for an ISP licence after the rural development ministry gives a commitment to shoulder the operating expenses (of the e-services network) over a 10-year span.”
The telecom department wants BBNL to focus on the internet business in addition to its role as a bandwidth supplier as so far no private or state run telecom service providers and ISPs have been able to provide their services at gram panchayat level due to factors like high costs, low demand and erratic power supply.
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