BSNL Halves Roll Out Target

[ASIA]State-controlled telecom giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), the corporatized version of the department of telecom (DoT) has halved its target of laying 100,000 route kilometers of optical fiber cable across the country for the current year.

According to a top BSNL official, the global demand for bandwidth had outstripped supply, pushing up prices and sending their calculations awry. As against the current worldwide supply of 102 million fiber kilometers, the global demand for the optical fiber shot up to 135 million fiber kilometers this year.

“We were almost through the tendering process when prices suddenly shot up. The bidders withdrew, even refusing to supply the cable at the tendered prices… at prices they had offered to supply,” the official said.

BSNL now wants to expand its existing optical fiber cable network from 180,000 route kilometer in the beginning of the current fiscal to about 235,000 km and upgrading the existing bandwidth capacity from 2.5 gigabits to 40 gigabits per second as part of an ongoing $887 million project to provide the necessary backbone for the country.

“Once we complete this project, there will not be any domestic bandwidth problem,” he said.

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