The optical fibre network to be set up by Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) for defence forces in return for their vacating telecom spectrum might be delayed as Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Ministry of Defence look into the issue of escalating cost for the project. The process may also delay the vacation of spectrum by the armed forces.
The Cabinet had already approved Rs 9,175 crore for setting up the OFC network, but BSNL has said the cost would be about Rs 4,000-5,000 crore higher. The OFC project has already been re-tendered once because of a change in specifications desired by the defence forces. Eight companies had bid in September last year but the project has not been awarded.
Some differences had cropped up between DoT and the defence ministry over the OFC network, which has vacated 15 MHz of 3G spectrum auctioned last year and 15 MHz of 2G spectrum, been allocated to new operators.