BSNL refuses to lease fiber for 30k-cr project
State-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) has refused to lease its unused fiber resources for Rs 30,000-crore government’s e-services telecom project. According to media reports, the proposed government-to-citizen community e-services project depends heavily on BSNL’s infrastructure, especially its dark fiber resources, but BSNL has expressed its inability to lease the dark fiber. The telco has informed Bharat Broadband Networks (BBNL) about it. BBNL has been mandated to deliver e-services such as e-health, e-education, e-governance to e-commerce transactions across 2.5 lakh gram panchayats. “DoT insiders familiar with the matter have said that the telco is averse to leasing its unused fiber on grounds that it needs spare bandwidth for ensuring uninterrupted telecom coverage in remote areas and for its own network expansion needs,” media reports said. The Department of Telecom (DoT) was preparing to seek Cabinet approval for implementing the e-services project. The telecom department is eager to implement the e-services project as it wants to create a rural broadband ecosystem by leveraging the Rs 21,000-crore NOFN backbone in India.