Bharat Net

  • It is an ambitious programme of department of telecommunication to provide network infrastructure with affordable broadband connectivity on a non-discriminatory basis to all households in the country.
  • It aimed to realize the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the Private Sector.
  • The programme, previously called as the National Optical Fibre Network, was approved in October 2011.
  • It is implemented in three phases
  • First phase  – providing broadband connectivity to one lakh gram panchayats by 2017
  • Second Phase – providing broadband connectivity to 2 lakh gram panchayats by 2019
  • Third Phase – providing state-of-art network using fibers between districts and block with reduced redundancy by 2023.
  • Implementation will be done by the states, state agencies, private sector companies and central PSUs.
  • All the Service Providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators etc. will be given non-discriminatory access to the National Optic Fibre Network and can launch various services in rural areas.
  • It is funded from Universal Service Obligation Fund, which will be its nodal agency.
  • Bharat Broadband Network, a SPV created under companies Act, mandated to create NOFN in India.


Universal Service Obligation Fund

  • The fund was established in 2002 to be utilized for providing telegraph services across the country especially the rural and remote areas.
  • It receives funds from the Universal Service Levy (USL) of 5% charged from all the telecom operators on their gross revenue.
  • Funds are dispatched through a bidding process to an enterprise which works on providing tele service to areas where ICT services are not available due to commercial non-viability combinations of reasons such as:
  • Remoteness of areas
  • Absence of supporting infrastructure (power, road etc.)
  • Low income of inhabitants
  • Insurgency
  • Difficult terrain
  • It is here that USOF Administration steps in to provide subsidy support thereby incentivizing telecom service providers to venture forth and provide services to such target beneficiaries.

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