ITI Ltd has bagged two packages, A and C, of BharatNet Phase II issued by Maharashtra Information Technology Corporation, for Rs 2,658 crore.

As part of BharatNet Phase II, MahaNet aims to digitally connect nearly 13,000 gram panchayats with blocks through underground, aerial optical fibre, and extend the broadband connectivity to all the gram panchayats using IP-MPLS technology-based products.

ITI executives said that there are also plans to extend the broadband reach through wi-fi hot spots. BharatNet is a Government of India project, aimed at providing broadband connectivity to 250,000 gram panchayats, out of which 100,000 has been connected in the first phase.

The work includes laying of optical fibre cable (OFC underground and aerial), including site survey, planning, procurement, design, implementation network at talukas and GPs as well as operations and maintenance of the network.

It also includes radio connectivity for gram panchayats that cannot be connected through fibre, implementation of horizontal connectivity to government premises, schools and primary healthcare centres. For both the packages, ITI was the lowest bidder.

ITI said that around 38,000 km optical fibre cable has to be laid to connect gram panchayats with blocks, district centres and state headquarters. Both packages together will cover 18 districts, 110 talukas and 8695 gram panchayats.

K Alagesan, Chairman and Managing Director, ITI Ltd, said: “We hope that with acceptance of our bids for two packages of MahaNet project, ITI’s order book position will improve.”