India: The more things change . . . BSNL remains in the driver’s seat

Posted on August 28, 2014  /  0 Comments

I have been inclined to give the new administration the benefit of the honeymoon period, but surely this is nuts. The previous administration placed all its eggs in the BSNL basket and got egg in its face for its pains. Not only did they extract enormous amounts as fees, they delayed procurement and did not give INC anything ICT to talk about during the election campaign. Now the BJP is going on that same well-trodden path:

The telecom department is aiming to complete setting up of a pan-India optic-fibre network by June 2016, a year ahead of the stated schedule of the project that is critical to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.

The Department of Telecommunications has sought the views of public-sector telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd whether it can complete the National Optical Fibre Network ( NOFN) project by then, according to an internal note seen by ET. According to the targets so far unveiled by the government, it was hoping to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through broadband by 2017.

BSNL is expected to submit details of its plan to complete the project to the telecom secretary on August 29.


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