News Except
The government has recently launched ‘GharTak Fibre’ scheme — which aims to connect all the villages with high-speed internet.

The main objective of this scheme which was launched in Sep 2020 is to make the broadband services available in rural and remote areas of the nation. It not only makes India Digital but also makes the rural population to avail of different government services online.
‘GharTak Fibre’ scheme aims all 45,945 Bihar villages would be connected through the high-speed optical fibre.

Scheme Objectives and Benefits
●    The main objective of the scheme is to make the villages self-reliant
●    The scheme aims at boosting the digital infrastructure through setting up optical fibre internet
●    It will connect about 45,945 villages in Bihar via optical fibre
●    It will improve online ticket booking, digital education, digital payment, digital health consultation, etc in villages
●    This scheme is aiming at digital transformation of villages
●    It is a crucial step towards Digital India movement

Scheme Details
    GharTak Fibre scheme is launched by the Central government for digital transformation of villages
    Under the scheme, optical fibre internet services will be provided to about 45,945
     villages in the state of Bihar.
    8900 Gram panchayats will also be connected through the optical fibre net service, FTTH broadband internet connectivity
    High speed internet in villages will be a benefit under this scheme
    One public Wi-Fi hotspot will be created in every village
    Households can buy FTTH (Fibre To The Home) connection for personal use
    This scheme aims at digital transformation and spread of high-speed internet connection across the villages.
    This project will be executed by combined efforts of Department of Telecom which has already connected 1.5 lakh Gram Panchayats across India with optical fibre internet service, along with Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology and Common Service Centres.

What was the problem?
    There are three main problems. One is that the lossy, old cables that were laid under phase one has to be replaced.
    So far, that work has been done in about 4,500gram panchayats connected under phase one.
    Then the problem of right-of-way in laying cables from panchayats or blocks to individual villages.
    The third is power equipment failure and its theft.
    Around 42 per cent of 3,660 Gram Panchayats reported to be non-operational in the state had been facing these problems.
    While optical fibre cable has been laid to connect nearly all the 8,745 GPs, lack of users in these areas has resulted in minimal or zero follow-ups on repair and maintenance work.

To connect all villages by March 31, the state would need to dig trenches, lay cables, and provide connectivity to an average of 257 villages daily, or a monthly average of over 7,500 villages. However, nearly a month after the scheme was inaugurated, optical fibre cable has been laid only in 4,347 villages as of October 14, or at the rate of 181 villages per day.
The learnings from the implementation of the ‘GharTak Fibre’ scheme in Bihar could also be a lesson for future, as the Centre plans to connect all 6.5 lakh villages to high speed optical fibre internet over the next 1,000 days.

Bharat Net Project, National optical fibre network, Digital India Programme, High speed optical fibre internet, Wi-Fi vs Li-Fi etc.