HFCL Bags Orders from JCNL for Bharat Net Phase II

Leading Indian telecommunication systems solution provider HFCL (Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd) has bagged a work order from Jharkhand Communication Network Limited (JCNL) for the Project survey, planning, supply, installation, an end to end integration, Testing and Commissioning of the fiber optic cable network in the State of Jharkhand. The purchase order worth US$74.76million received by HFCL stipulates the implementation of the project to complete within one year.

The project shall be implemented within one year from the date of receipt of the work order from JCNL. HFCL needs to offer 4 years of operations and maintenance service including 1 year of warranty after completion of the project.

The scope of work included in the work order issued to HFCL includes route surveying, planning for the project, supply of fiber optic cables and related accessories, end to end fiber optic link integration, testing and commissioning and also Operations and Maintenance for first 3 years. After the 5th year, a separate work order would be issued by JCNL for Operations and maintenance for a period of another 4 years.

The total work order is worth 74.76 US dollars (Rs.527.44 crores in INR). The break-up of the scope of work and the project value in US dollars are shown below;

Supply of Materials – US$30.85million
Supply of Services – US$34.08million
Operations and Maintenance for 3 years – US$9.83million

A separate purchase order will be issued after the fifth year to continue the operations and maintenance support for a further 4 years for a value of US$13.11million.

The second phase of the Bharat Net Project in the State of Jharkhand will be implemented by JCNL. The project will deploy backbone optical Fiber cables, GPON components and Radio Network in 1684 administrative units called “Gram Panchayats” in the Indian State of Jharkhand.

JCNL is a state-owned telecommunication company in Jharkhand. HFCL is one of the top fiber optic cable manufacturing companies in India. Recently the company had started the optical fiber production unit in India and announced a significant expansion of its existing fiber cable manufacturing capacity.

Underground fiber optic cables will be laid mainly but there are places where it is practically easier to deploy aerial cables. So, the project would be a mix of underground and aerial fiber optic infrastructures.

The aforesaid Project is 100% funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) of Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications, Government of India under the state-led model.

BharatNet Programme forms one of the Key Pillars of Digital India Program. It is a project of national importance, envisage to connect & provide broadband connectivity at around 2,50,500 Administrative units in India.

Bharat Net is the new name given to the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project, which was originally planned in 2010 by the Central Government. NOFN has been an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to administrative units or Gram Panchayats in India.

The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity. To achieve this, the existing fiber infrastructure of BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid etc were utilized and additional fiber optic lines weres laid wherever necessary.

Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators and Content providers to launch various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version – BharatNet was conceived as a nationwide broadband network.
Bharat Net Project
BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish, by 2017, a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on-demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on-demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.

The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.

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