New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Rural broadband infrastructure organisation BBNL expects to connect 6,929 panchayats located in border, Naxal-affected areas and in island territories with satellite-based communications services.

The special purpose vehicle under the telecom ministry has already commissioned satellite services in 4,682 gram panchayats (GPs) including those located in Galwan Valley, Doklam, Leh, Tawang etc.

“At present, all 4,682 GPs out of 6,929 have been connected with satellite services. This includes 1,389 locations that are under the control of Defence. All 6,929 GPs in border and Naxal-affected areas will be connected with satellite communications services by June,” a BBNL official told PTI.

The official shared that satellite-based communications services in village panchayats in Galwan Valley and Doklam like sensitive areas were commissioned in 2020.

Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) and BSNL were given contracts to roll out satellite connectivity in 6,929 GPs in 2020.

TCIL was given 5,521 and BSNL 1,408 GPs under the project. TCIL selected Hughes Communications to connect around 5,000 GPs and have been able to commission service in around 3,500 GPs. BSNL has been able to commission services in 1,138 GPs out of 1,408 GPs allocated to it.

“The service is free for Defence personnel. They are now able to connect with their offices without any delay and talk to their family members. Each location gets an average 10 megabit per second to 30 mbps speed which helps them meet a lot of communication requirements. This was a long pending strategic need of the country to connect border villages which we have been able to fulfill now,” the official said. PTI PRS ANZ MR MR

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