Department of Telecom (DOT) has finally sent a proposal of Rs 42,608 crore to the Cabinet for BharatNet, out of which Rs 11, 148 is for the ongoing phase I and Rs 18792 crore is for phase II.
According to the sources close to the development, " the proposal of Rs 42, 068 crores has been sent to Cabinet, comprising of Rs 11,148 crore for the first phase, Rs 18,792 crore for the second, Rs 4,000 crore for last-mile connectivity and Rs 6,046 crore for operational maintenance."
In fact, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha also said the proposal has been sent to the cabinet for approval.
However, the Budget of BharatNet has been already increased by the Government in the last budget from Rs 6000 crore to ₹10,000 crore for this financial year.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech, "By the end of 2017-18, high-speed broadband connectivity on optical fiber will be available in more than 1.50 lakh gram panchayats, with Wi-Fi hotspots and access to digital services at low tariffs."
He also said 1.55 lakh km of optical fiber cable (OFC) has been laid and apart from providing digital connectivity, the project will also inculcate projects such as a 'DigiGaon' to provide telemedicine, education, and skills through digital technology.
BharatNet, called the National Optical Fibre Network, is aimed at providing 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to more than 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the country by 2017.