High speed internet to Panchayats: CS led State Broadband Committee reviews measures

Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Atal Dulloo, today chaired the meeting of 5th State Broadband Committee, constituted to overlook the process of providing affordable and universal broadband access to all rural and far off pockets of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting besides ACS, Forests, Principal Secretary, PDD, Principal Secretary, Finance, Commissioner Secretary, IT Commissioner Secretary, H&UDD, Secretary, RDD, Secretary, R&B, Secretary, Revenue was attended by representatives of J&K Licensed Service Area, Union Ministry of Telecommunications and BSNL.

The Chief Secretary, while assessing the works executed, so far, by the telecommunication agency in the UT for covering all the remote areas under broadband and 4G network, emphasised on fixing timelines for completion of each of the components. He asked for carrying out joint survey by the RDD and BSNL for assessing the readiness of all the Panchayats for installation of OFC and functionality of VSATs, provided earlier. He enjoined upon the telecommunication agency to facilitate the department as per the earlier MoU signed between them.

He stressed on giving them access to the Customer Management Portal and establishing the helpline for registration of grievances with proper follow up of the same by provisioning a team of technicians for each block. He also asked for accomplishing these tasks within next few days. He assured the company of all possible assistance by the UT government enabling better environment for execution of its programmes. He said that the government is committed to provide the amenities like land, power and other requisite support to help the agency complete its works in time.

In a presentation, the BSNL threw light on overall performance regarding each of its works undertaken here under this broadband mission. It was informed that the objective of this mission is to bridge the digital divide for digital empowerment and inclusion, provide affordable and universal access of broadband for all.

It was apprised that the outcome of this national mission is to ensure broadband access to all villages, availability of high broadband speed besides accelerating fiberization there. It was added that the company is going to enhance connectivity and improve quality of service by increasing tower density, fiberization of telecom towers and facilitating roll out of 5G network and strengthening of 4G network in rural areas.

It was revealed that out of the 847 identified sites in J&K, land has been allotted for 751 locations by both Revenue and Forest Departments for 4G saturation in the UT. It was informed that the foundation work at 333 locations has been completed while the same is under process in 118 more locations. Moreover, 231 towers had been erected, of which, 26 have been commissioned and 11 BTS put on air, so far.

Regarding the status of VSAT in Gram Panchayats, it was informed that the same has been provided at 692 locations. It was added that some of those had developed technical snags or other problems rendering many of them non-functional.

The CGM, BSNL, assured of framing roadmap for restoration of these non-functional GPs shortly.

As far as the Ammended Bharat Net Program (ABP-Phase III) is concerned, it was informed that GoI has approved it for pan India including J&K. It was revealed that all 427 GPs and BHQs covered in the Phase I shall be covered in OFC ring architecture and all 692 GPs covered on satellite would be brought on OFC ring.

For the remaining 3180 uncovered GPs and BHQs, it was said that under ABN there is provision to bring them on the OFC ring architecture with MPLS routers to be installed at all the 4299 GPs and 285 BHQs.

Further, it was informed that OLT shall be installed at all GPs for extending the FTTH high speed broadband connections to the GPs, BHQs, adjoining government institutions and the rural population in the vicinity.

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