Andhra Pradesh government, led by tech-savvy Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, plans to provide broadband connections with peak speed of 15 Mbps to twelve million households for as low as Rs 150/month in the first stage of its about Rs 5,000-crore optical fibre project.
The state government has asked the Centre to provide its share of funds from ongoing National Optical Fibre Project that aims to connect 2.5 lakh gram panchayats across the nation by December 2016. “AP has asked the Centre for permission to execute the broadband project on its own.
The state has requested for its share from funds earmarked by the Centre for NOFN project in the state. The Telecom Commission on January 7 accorded in-principle approval to the proposal with some riders,” an official source told PTI.
The Union Cabinet will take a final call on the project. Andhra Pradesh has proposed to deliver broadband connection with 10-15 mbps download speed to each 12 million households for Rs 150/month that are planned to be covered under state designed project, the official source added. At the peak promised speed of 15 Mbps, an user can download video file equivalent to a standard bollywood movie in about 6 minutes.
Private telecom operators are at present providing broadband connection with similar speeds for about Rs 1,100 per month in the state. Andhra Pradesh has proposed to execute the project at cost of Rs 4,913 crore in 5 years while Centre has earmarked Rs 1,940 crore for the NOFN project in the state. “The state has said that it will arrange remaining funds on its own,” the official said.
For executing this project, the state will create its own corporation to be named Andhra Pradesh Fibre Corporation which would 100 per cent owned by state. This corporation will manage the network and own the assets. The state will create another entity in name of ‘Digital Andhra Corporation’ using Public-Private-Partnership model that will be responsible for creation of ecosystem for broadband adoption. (Inputs from agencies)