BBNL AND BSNL to merge for the greater interests of the gram panchayats says the Indian Govt

In the telecom sector, the merger of two government-owned companies has taken all the limelight on
Sunday. It is said that Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL) will be merging with loss-making
telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The merger is expected to take place this
month. However, details of the merger are yet to be announced.

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director, PK Purwar at a recent event, revealed that the Centre is giving the telecom firm an opportunity for a turnaround. The merger is expected to take place this month.
Purwar told in the All India Conference held by AIGETOA, that "the government has taken a policy
decision that BBNL is going to be merged into BSNL. This means all work of BBNL at the pan-India level is going to come to BSNL," reported by PTI.

Currently, BSNL holds a network of more than 6.8 lakh kilometers of optical fibre cable (OFC) network. On the back of the proposed merger, the telco will be able to bag 5.67 lakh kilometer of optical fibre that is spread across 1.85 lakh village panchayats in India using Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

BBNL is a Special Purpose Vehicle and has been mandated to create the National Optical Fiber Network
(NOFN) in India to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats. BharatNet, the
world’s largest rural broadband project is to provide broadband connectivity to all the 2.5 lakh gram
panchayats across India.