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TRAI floats paper on optical fibre network rollout

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday issued a consultation paper on rolling out the national optical fibre network, renamed "BharatNet".

Though the watchdog on April 17 had recommended measures to roll out the network for building broadband highways for ushering in Digital India, it did not take off due to lack of consensus on the mode of implementation.

"The regulator has looked into Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (Boot) as an alternate model for implementing the ambitious national network project," TRAI said in a statement.

An expert committee of the department of telecommunications (DoT) also submitted its report to the watchdog with three implementation models.

The watchdog posted the consultation paper on its website -- www.trai.gov.in -- for comments from stakeholders by December 7.

"The paper raises policy issues on implementing the national project and DoT's recommendation of three models with risks and advantages," the statement said.

The paper also deals with challenges of the Boot model, eligibility criteria for the executing agency to avoid conflict of interest and monopoly and means of funding.

For the state-run Digital India programme, the minister of IT and Communications plans to connect all the six-lakh villages and 250,000 panchayats (local bodies) through the optical fibre-based broadband network over the next three years to offer public services to the people s) across the country.

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