21-Nov-2017
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Government will not cut mobile connection over Aadhaar

New Delhi Nov 9: The telecom department (DoT) looks to finalise the new telecom policy by February and would release its draft by December-end for public comments, Union minister Manoj Sinha said.
 
"We are trying to bring new telecom policy by February. For this the working group has started the process. We expect high level committee working on it to finalise draft by end of December and place it for public comments," the Communications Minister told reporters.
 
He said the government expects to complete the first phase of BharatNet project to connect 1 lakh village panchayats with high-speed broadband by the end of November. "Over 75,000 gram panchayats (GPs) are ready with broadband services and all 1 lakh panchayats will be ready for broadband services by end of this month. 
 
Every month we are installing equipment in 8,000-9,000 panchayats. The whole project has been  executed using domestically developed equipment," Sinha said.
 
The minister said that the government is considering various models for rolling out the second phase of the BharatNet project that will cover the remaining 1.5 lakh GPs involving laying of 2.63 lakh kilometres of optical fibres. 
 
He said that BharatNet project will lead to generation of at least 5 lakh jobs once it is rolled out in all panchayats. "Airtel has shown interest in 10,000 GPs for taking 1 Gbps connectivity on lease while Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Idea are interested in taking 100 Mbps connectivity on lease in about 30,000, 2,000 and 1,000 GPs respectively," Sinha said.
 
The government will charge low rate to telecom operators for providing broadband service under the BharatNet project.