DoT approves national optical fibre network


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Telecom minister Kapil Sibal today announced that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved the national optical fibre network. Sibal informed the fiber network will cost Rs 20,000 crore in first place. "We will take up the proposal to Cabinet shortly," he said.

The funding for the broadband network will come from the USO fund, the minister said adding, "the USO fund has a balance of Rs 16,000 crore."

Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, on Thursday, said that the next revolution in the IT and communications sector should be in broadband.

According to telecom regulator TRAI, the present data on the number of broadband subscribers only indicates individual connections, without throwing any light on the actual number of users accessing the broadband services or the usage pattern, as well as the hindrances and barriers to adoption and usage of broadband.

The number of broadband subscribers at the end of March, 2005, stood at 0.18 million and it increased to 12.12 million at the end of May, 2011, TRAI data reveals.

There is an urgent need for a nationwide broadband network to connect education, healthcare, banking and other services infrastructure to the entire population, thereby realising the objective of inclusive growth.

Sibal also informed that the DoT is proposing exit scheme for telecom companies this year. "The regulator will propose an exit scheme for 2008 licensees," he said adding, "we are awaiting Supreme Court verdict on 2008 licenses to end uncertainty.”

Meanwhile, DoT official told CNBC-TV18 that the VSNL land issue will come up at the next meet. "We are reviewing TRAI view on license cancellations," the official added.