Tamil Nadu FibreNet Corporation Ltd (Tanfinet) entered into a Master Service Agreement (MSA) with Pace Digitek Infra Pvt Ltd on Friday to implement Package B of the BharatNet Phase-II in Tamil Nadu. This was signed in the presence of IT Minister T Mano Thangaraj.

The signing of the MSA was possible after Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharath Chakravarthy of the Madras High Court in April dismissed an appeal by Tanfinet and upheld the findings of Justice Abdul Quddhose.

Bharatnet has four packages — A, B, C and D. While packages A, C and D were awarded, the award of contract for package B was pending on account of a challenge against technical rejection of the bid of Pace Digitek Infra. The company had challenged the rejection of their bid at the technical stage. Justice Abdul Quddhose had set aside the technical rejection against which Tanfinet had appealed.

Thangaraj said BharatNet Phase-II Project envisages connecting 12,525 village panchayats in Tamil Nadu with high-speed bandwidth using Optical Fibre Cable (OFC). The Indian government has approved the project at an estimated cost of ₹1815.31 crore. Under this project all the 12,525 village panchayats of the State will be provided with a minimum scalable bandwidth of 1 Gbps.

The implementation of the project has been divided into four packages and one system integrator for each package and Third Party Agency (TPA) has been selected. The MSAs were executed in October 2021 with system integrators L&T Limited (package C); ITI Limited (Package D); BECIL (TPA), and with Polycab India Limited (Package A).

Under Package B, 3001 gram panchayats in Villupuram, Erode, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Kallakurichi, Salem, and The Nilgiris districts will be connected through the BharatNet project and 1 Gbps bandwidth service will be provided, says a release.