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TRAI floats consultation paper for BharatNet; says it should not end up like NOFN


Telecom regulator Trai today said it was for the effective implementation of BharatNet, for which it had floated a consultation paper whose recommendations will be available by next month.
“BharatNet should not have the same fate as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) which did not take off ultimately.

“TRAI has floated a consultation paper and the recommendations are expected by next month,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman RS Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of Infocom seminar here.

He said TRAI favoured a Build-Operate-Transfer (BoT) model for the private sector’s involvement in both construction of the network and providing services.

BharatNet envisages connecting every panchayat through a fibre network and offering multiple services online.

The cost for rolling out BharatNet would be USD 70 billion, Sharma said, adding that NOFN failed because no work was done on designing the programme beforehand.

“Design is extremely important, then things succeed. Also, aligning the interest of all stakeholders should be taken care of. TRAI is trying to put these principles in place,” Sharma told the seminar.
Regarding Aadhar, he said it was a digital infrastructure which India can be proud of.

Aadhar could be plugged into any system like banking, PDS and others, and has the potential to provide end-to-end digital transactions, Sharma added.


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