Bharat Net Scheme- Biggest Telecom Project for Rural India

  • December 14, 2023
  • Registrationwala
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BharatNet is one of the biggest rural telecom projects in the world. It was implemented in a phased manner to all the Gram Panchayats in the country to provide access to broadband connectivity to telecom service providers. It has started to provide equal growth opportunities and empower rural areas with digital tools to access education, healthcare, government services, and economic opportunities. 


This is an infrastructure project that does the social and economic changes in rural India. The telecom businesses will get a boost. In the article, we shared that how the project reduces the gap between urban and rural areas, and how it is implemented.

What is the BharatNet Project Scheme?

The BharatNet Project was launched on October 25th, 2011 after the approval of the Union Cabinet and executed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). In 2016, the Telecom Commission approved the plan to implement the project in three phases. 


The project launches in both phase I and II in around two lakh Gram Panchayats. Phase III is still in process and aims to connect India's remaining fifty thousand Gram Panchayats. The project’s main objective is to reach providers such as mobile operators, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), content providers, and Cable TV operators. However, it is to launch applications like e-health, e-education, and e-governance in rural and remote areas of India. 

Facts About BharatNet Project

  • Phase I of the project get completes in December 2017 with implementation in over 1 lakh Gram Panchayats. The first phase expands to 1.25 lakh GPs as a revised work as per the Cabinet approval.
  • The 6,69,751 Km of Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) has been laid, and an additional 7,82,366 Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) connections are commissioned.
  • Around 1,04,675 Wi-Fi hotspots are installed to ensure last-mile connectivity.

Phase I of BharatNet Project

The Union Cabinet approved the project for the creation of the National Optical Fibre Network also known as BharatNet. However, the concept of providing high-speed broadband connectivity in rural India was first introduced in 2011 as the National Broadband Mission (NBM). Then it changed to the BharatNet project in 2015. 

Impact of Phase I on the Rural Areas

  • In phase I the technical infrastructure and operational framework of telecom was set up for other phases. This includes the network build-out, partnership with service providers and building up connectivity models.
  • Provide internet access in remote and underserved areas which reduces the digital gap and makes education, information, and government services accessible to all.
  • The challenges of geography and administration provide valuable insights into improving the ways for other subsequent phases.


After the successful completion of the first phase, the project became a critical initiative for rural development. And, shows how broadband connectivity can transform rural areas in digital literacy, skill development, women empowerment, modernisation in agriculture, access to government schemes, and many more.

Phase II of BharatNet Project

On July 19th, 2017, the Cabinet approved the new modified strategy which includes the experience of Phase I and connects it with the vision of Digital India. This new strategy provides a mix of OFC, Radio and satellite to Gram Panchayats. However, in phase II the GPs connect through implementing models and these models are as follows:

  • State-Led Model: The project implement in 8 states - Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana at various stages.
  • CPSU-Led Model: BSNL is executing the work in four states and union territories - Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Sikkim at various stages of implementation.
  • Private Led Model: The Punjab and Bihar have directly implemented the private sector model by BBLN. The work is almost complete in both states.
  • Satellite: The satellite part of phase II is implementing both the BBNL and BSNL. BSNL is implementing 1408 GPs and BBNL is implementing 3753 GPs.


The BharatNet Scheme is connecting India through telecom. After the successful implementation of both Phase I and II, the work of Phase III is in process. The remaining Gram Panchayats are waiting for their turn to be included in the world’s largest telecom project. 


The purpose of the scheme is not just to provide broadband connectivity to rural India. Its motive is to help children in education, farmers in agriculture and doctors in reaching the patents in rural India. 

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