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Cable laying in 5,000 villages completed under NOFN: Eco Survey

Govt has set a target of rolling out optical fibre network across 50,000 village panchayats by the end of March 2015, 1 lakh by March 2016 and another 1 lakh by December 2016

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi.

The government has completed cable laying in just about 5,000 villages under its plan to connect all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by optic fibre by December 2016, says the Economic Survey 2014-15.

The government's ambitious National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project aims to provide 100 Mbps high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by December 2016 and the estimated cost of the project is around Rs 30,000 crore..

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The government has set a target of rolling out optical fibre network across 50,000 village panchayats by the end of March 2015, 1 lakh by March 2016 and another 1 lakh by December 2016.

"Cable laying has been completed in about 5,000 villages and the project is likely to be completed by 31 December 2016," the economic survey said.

The survey said the government is going to conduct spectrum auction next month of four set of airwaves - 800 Mhz band (CDMA), 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz (presently being used for 2G) and 2100 Mhz band (used for 3G).

It has approved the minimum or auction start price for the 2,100 Mega-Hertz band or 3G spectrum, which will garner at least Rs 17,555 crore. The reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 Mhz and 1800 MHz bands will fetch the government at least Rs 64,840 crore.

If all spectrum gets sold at reserve price, the government will garner non-tax revenue of Rs 82,395 crore from the telecom sector through this auction only.

"A roadmap will also be chalked out for providing more spectrum, as per the National Telecom Policy 2012, keeping in view the objective of affordable and reliable communication services to serve public interest," the Survey said.

The last auction conducted in February 2014, fetched government bid of about Rs 62,162 crore which was 27.6 per cent more than the total reserve price at that time.

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First Published: Fri, February 27 2015. 14:14 IST