New Delhi: The government has allocated Rs13,000 crore to the department of telecom (DoT) to roll out broadband network across gram panchayats (GPs) and building alternate communications network for defence, as per the Output-Outcome Framework for Schemes 2017 issued on Monday.

The government has allocated Rs10,000 crore for rolling out optical fibre-based broadband network across “one lakh fifty thousand cumulative GPs" in 2017-18. The government has set a target to provide high speed broadband connectivity across one lakh gram panchayats by March 2017 and in rest of the 1.5 lakh panchayats by 2018.

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As on 29 January, optical fibre has been laid to connect 76,089 gram panchayats, out of which 16,355 gram panchayats have been provided broadband connectivity. Government has also allocated Rs3,000 crore for laying of optical fibre cable (OFC) and procurement of equipment for the Network For Spectrum (NFS) project in 2017-18.

The cabinet, in July 2012, had approved an outlay of Rs13,334 crore for the project, which includes OFC-based network for Army, Navy and Tri-services backbone. The defence ministry and the DoT had signed an agreement under which the former had agreed to vacate 25 megahertz (MHz) of 3G spectrum and 20 MHz of 2G in phases. In return, the DoT had committed to set up an exclusive defence band and defence interest zone for the armed forces.