Jaipur, Jan. 4 -AKSH Optifibre Ltd (AOL) and the Rajasthan Government propose to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for connecting 6,000 villages across 15 districts with the district headquarters by optical fibre to bring in e-convergence in the State..
The estimated cost of this project is around Rs 300 crore, which the company plans to fund partially through its cash reserves and partially through long-term debts. Company officials also hinted at the possibility of bringing in a strategic partner at a later stage.
Every village will have a multimedia Internet kiosk manned by a local villager. This service will be called Gramdoot and will provide the latest communication facilities to the villagers.
The first Gramdoot kiosk was inaugurated by the Rajasthan Chief Minister, Mr Ashok Gehlot, at village Dabri Rampura on Wednesday. After the test run for three months, its success will decide whether the Rajasthan Government will enter into the proposed MoU with Aksh Optifibre.
The Managing Director, Mr K.S. Choudhari, Aksh Optifibre, said, “we are ready to sign the MoU even tomorrow but it is for the Government to decide whether they want this project or not. The Government will decide on the basis of the success of the kiosk launched in Dabri Rampura village.”
Mr Chaudhary said that the average cost of connecting one village with optical fibre worked out to around Rs 5 lakh. For 6,000 villages the total cost would be Rs 300 crore. The company has already incorporated two subsidiary companies, namely, Aksh Networking Ltd (ANL) and Aksh Broadband Ltd (ABL), which will handle the networking and deployment of services, respectively. After the MoU, the work will be carried out jointly by all the three companies, he said.
The company will appoint a Gramdoot at every village. The Gramdoot will be backed by an optical network architecture, showcasing various applications having potential use in a wide range of sectors including e-governance, education to entertainment, among others.