The department of telecommunications, in the near future, would invite the private sector in successfully acting out the BharatNet project,originally designed in 2011. A project which has been postponed a lot of times and faced cost escalation. It is via this project that the government wants to make high-speed broadband connectivity accessible to all with the use of optic fibre. As per the plans, once the same is laid out, it would affect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country.The delays have added to the cost of the project humongous amounts that made it reach to Rs 42,068 crore from the original Rs 20,000 crore.
However, now the centre is devising an amendment in the implementation strategy for creation, maintenance and utilisation of BharatNet under public-private partnership (PPP) model. A request for proposal inviting private players to participate in the project will perhaps be issued in the near future.
Several revenue sharing models are veing thought upon so that they can be used in partnering with private players. However, DoT is yet to finalise the revenue sharing model and prepare the draft RFP that would then be sent to Niti Aayog for vetting which recommended that the PPP model should be adopted for BharatNet last year.
Earlier also, consultant Deloitte designer a draft RFP for PPP model. They were shared with DoT and others members of Digital Communications Commission for reviews. In 2016 also, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India suggested to have a PPP model for the BhararNet. Unfortunately, the recommendations were not actively accepted by DoT.