Indian cabinet expected to approve rural fibre broadband project

19 Oct 2011

The Union Council of Ministers of India is expected to approve a project which will see the construction of a national fibre-optic network connecting some 200,000 villages across the country, according to the Hindustan Times. With the project expected to cost around INR200 billion (USD4 billion) it is understood that the state will create a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to look after the venture, with this entity likely to work closely with public sector companies including state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Railtel and Power Grid Corporation of India. The aforementioned companies all have existing fibre-optic networks and it is expected that the SPV will utilise such infrastructure, with an unnamed government official noting that this ‘is to ensure that there is no duplication of fibre network.’ Subsidies for the project will be provided by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).