Bharat Broadband Network plans to diversify into online business

bbnlBharat Broadband Network is planning to diversify itself by entering into online business to deliver government-to-citizen eServices nationally from April 2016, reports The Economic Times.

BBNL is a telecom infrastructure provider and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), set up by the Government of India for the establishment, management and operation of National Optical Fibre Network – an INR 21,000 Cr project.

BBNL will file an application for the license of an internet service provider (ISP) once the Telecom Commission and rural development ministry formalize the financing terms of the eServices network.

In addition to its bandwidth supply, the telecom department wants BBNL to focus on Internet business and and provide its services at gram panchayat level – which so far, no other private or state run service provider has managed to do – given the high costs and low demand.

“We expect an official go-ahead from Telecom Commission to apply for an ISP licence after the rural development ministry gives a commitment to shoulder the operating expenses (of the e-services network) over a 10-year span,” said a BBNL official.

Moreover, BBNL was earlier reported to be working in the future as a full blown telecom services providing company, by arming itself with an internet service provider (ISP) permit or a unified licence (UL) to deliver government-to-citizen Wi-Fi services across rural India.

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