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Goa BroadBand nearing end, govt may log into BharatNet

With the Goa BroadBand Network (GBBN) project nearing its end, the state government now plans to implement the Centre’s Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BharatNet) in Goa to connect the village panchayats and over 200 government offices. The state department of information technology has sought Rs 327.7 crore from the Centre’s Department of Telecommunications to create the nation-wide optical fibre network.

With the tendering process for BharatNet expected to take around a year, the contract with United Telecoms Limited (UTL) has been extended till July 2021. UTL is the private agency that has tied up with the government to implement GBBN, which is a 10-year public private partnership project.

The Department of Information and Technology has also decided to exit GBBN as all the equipment installed and deployed by UTL are at “end of life, end of warranty” and thus in need of complete replacement.

“Department has submitted that they have submitted a detailed project report (DPR) for implementation of BharatNet project in Goa which is similar to GBBN. The department has submitted proposal for seeking funds amounting to Rs 327.7 Cr which include maintenance of seven years from Department of telecom,” said the department in a note.

The department of IT is in the process of formulating RFP in line with BharatNet project which would include new electronic equipment and laying of new of new optical cable fibre and this entire process will take 1 year,” a department note said.

The state government had appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to analyse the exit management of GBBN and to find way forward for GBBN project after completion of 10 years. PwC was appointed through Software Technology Parks of India. PWC offered four options.

“The file was moved to the government. Minister IT has approved option D to exit out of the current agreement,” said the department note.

The department of IT had also approached BSNL to setup a fibre network across the state to link 189 villages and 225 government offices. However, BSNL quoted a yearly cost of Rs 106.45 cr while UTL is currently charges Rs 22.86 cr per year. ToI

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