Plan to monetise BharatNet assets approved

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The Digital Communications Commission (DCC), the inter-ministerial panel of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has given in-principle nod for monetisation of fibre assets of BharatNet.
These assets will be offered to the private telcos through auction, lease for 20 years or by outright sale.
The DCC took up the issue of marketing of the fibre asset as BharatNet had failed to ensure effective utilisation of this costly asset.
Most assets, around 2.5 lakh km of fibre, will be offered to the private sector.
It was also decided the DoT should also look at the outright sale as well as a different model of leasing.
The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has been asked to work out various sales and outright leasing options within 10 days.
The DCC has decided to put as many as 20 fibre assets or pairs on auctions for private entities for a 20-year lease term after retaining four, in the 2.5 lakh km of optic fibre cable (OFC) deployed under the BharatNet-I programme.
So far, no estimation on revenue proceeds has been made and will be worked.
Under the BharatNet scheme, over 100,000 gram panchayats has been provided with the fibre network, but states are not coming forward to utilise it, said a DoT official.
–IANS
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