State-owned NHAI is working towards development of around 10,000 kilometres of Optic Fibre Cables (OFC) infrastructure across the country by FY2024-25, according to an official statement.
The statement said National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), a fully-owned special purpose vehicle of NHAI, will implement the network of "digital highways" by developing integrated utility corridors along the national highways to develop OFC infrastructure.
According to the statement, around 1,367 kilometres on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and 512 km on the Hyderabad-Bangalore corridor have been identified as pilot routes for the digital highway development.
The statement said providing internet connectivity to remote locations across the country, the OFC network will help expedite the roll-out of new-age telecom technologies like 5G & 6G.
The recently-inaugurated 246-km DelhiDausaLalsot section of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway features a three-metre dedicated utility corridor used to lay optical fibre cables, which will serve as the backbone for the roll-out of the 5G network in the region.
The statement noted that the OFC laying work along the national highways has started and is targeted for completion in about a year.
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The OFC network will allow direct plug-and-play or 'fibre-on-demand' model for the telecom/internet services.
The network will be leased out on a fixed price allotment mechanism on 'open for all' basis through a web portal to eligible users, the statement said, adding that OFC allotment policy is being finalised in consultation with the department of telecommunications (DoT) and sector regulator Trai.
The statement noted that creation of "digital highways" will not only have a catalytic impact on the growth and development but also contribute to the digital transformation of the country.
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