BBNL To Be Merged With BSNL, State-Run Telco To Gain Access To Rs 60,000 Crore Funds: Report

The central government is set to merge the operations and assets of the Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) with the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) before completing the ongoing financial year, Indian Express reports.

This proposal will be tabled before the Union Cabinet soon, and a cabinet note on the same is being prepared currently.

BBNL falls under the ambit of the Communications Ministry and is currently in charge of implementing the BharatNet project, which targets connecting the six lakh villages across the country with high-speed internet.

As a result of the proposed merger, BSNL will be forming a new division to look after the concerned works of the initiative above.

None of the concerned stakeholders confirmed this rumoured development when they were contacted regarding the same by Indian Express.

Another fallout of this merger will be that BSNL will possibly gain access to funds worth Rs 60,000 crore of the BBNL that the latter obtains from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

The USOF is created from the Universal Access Levy (UAL) that mandates telecom service providers to contribute a certain percentage of their funds to the USOF funds.