The timeline for completion of BharatNet Phase II will now be extended as its pace was affected by the lockdown and restrictions on movement imposed amid Covid-19 crisis. The announcement was made by the minister of state for communications Sanjay Dhotre in the Rajya Sabha.

The project was envisaged to be completed by August 2021.

According to the government, as on September 1, 2020, around 23,133 gram panchayats (GPs) including block headquarters have been made service ready, and 147,000 km of optical fibre cable (OFC) has been laid under BharatNet Phase II.

Further, the government added that it plans to cover nearly 600,000 villages in the country in 1,000 days from August 15, 2020.