Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) earlier this week on the behalf of Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the Government of India invited digitally sealed global tenders in a single stage, two-part bidding process (Qualification Bid & Financial Bid) from eligible bidders for the development of BharatNet through a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, & Transfer (DBFOT) concession on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in 9 separate packages across 16 States of India for a concession period of 30 years.
The Government will provide a maximum grant of Rs 19041 Crore as Viability Gap Funding under the project. The project shall cover 3.61 lakh villages including Gram Panchayats across Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.
Package 1 includes Kerala and Karnataka, Package 2 includes UP East, Package 3 includes UP West, Package 4 includes Rajasthan, Package 5 includes Punjab and Haryana, Package 6 includes West Bengal, Package 7 includes North East 1 (Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura) and North East 2 (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Nagaland), Package 8 includes Assam, and Package 9 includes Madhya Pradesh.
“The idea is to harness private sector’s capability, capacity, and efficiency for O&M, utilization and revenue generation to make BharatNet more effective and accessible. This would also serve the objective of BharatNet to have social inclusion, through effective delivery of Govt. schemes and citizen-centric services using broadband, and also to strengthen e-Governance, e-Education, Telemedicine, e-Banking etc,” said Ministry of Communications in a release.
The existing BharatNet is connecting all the Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the country by laying OFC between Block and GPs. The scope has now been enhanced to connect all inhabited villages of the country approx. 6.43 lakhs (inclusive of GPs). The existing BharatNet project across 16 States will become a part of this project.
The scope of the work under BharatNet PPP project includes connecting the remaining unconnected GPs under BharatNet project (Phase 1 & Phase 2) and all the inhabited villages beyond the GPs, up-gradation of the existing BharatNet network from Linear to Ring topology, and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) and utilisation of the existing as well as the newly deployed network.