BharatNet, also Bharat Broadband Network Limited, is a Telecom infrastructure provider, set up by the government of India under Telecom department for the establishment, management and operation of National Optical Fibre Network to provide a minimum of 100 Mbps broadband connectivity to each one of all 250,000 Gram panchayats in the country covering nearly 625,000 villages to transform to Digital India. The BharatNet is, world's largest rural broadband connectivity program. It is built 100% under Make in India economy-booster employment-generation initiative with no involvement of foreign companies.
On 25 October 2011 the government of India approved the "National Optical Fibre Network" (NOFN) initiative, later renamed as BharatNet. Between 2011 and 2014, project did not take off as planned, and only 350 km of optical fiber, out of 300,000 km optical fiber network needed for the phase-I, was laid. Between 2014 and 2017, the original phase-I target of laying 300,000 km of optical fiber was completed under the new BJP government.
BharatNet will provide impetus to India's economy, more employment opportunities, improved service delivery (online e-gram panchayat services, e-governance, e-education, e-health, e-medicine, e-grievances, e-agriculture, e-citizen, etc), Make in India, Digital India and Startup India initiatives. "BharatNet Phase-II", will be completed by 31 March 2019, to connect the remaining 150,000 village councils covering 325,000 villages.
- extracted from Bharat Broadband Network, Wikipedia as on 1st March 2018