The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to develop around 10,000 kilometres of Optic Fibre Cables (OFC) infrastructure across India by the fiscal year 2025, an official statement has said.
State-owned NHAI's special purpose vehicle National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML) will be handling the project of implementing the network of "digital highways" by developing integrated utility corridors along the national highways to develop Optic Fibre Cables infrastructure.
As per the report, around 512 km on the Hyderabad-Bangalore corridor and 1,367 kms on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway have been identified by the authority to carry out the pilot tracks for the development if digital highways.
The OFC network will facilitate internet connectivity to remote regions across India and will assist in accelerating country's shift to the modern-age telecommunication technologies like 5G & 6G. The 246-km Delhi-Dausa-Lalsot section of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway was recently inaugurated. The track features 3-meter dedicated utility corridor which will be used for the purpose of laying optical fibre cables. This will play the key role for rolling-out 5G facility in the region.
According to the statement, the work for building Optic Fibre Cables (OFC) infrastructure along the national highways has already begun with a target to complete the project in about a year. The OFC network will allow direct plug-and-play or 'fibre-on-demand' model for the telecom/internet services.
The statement also said that the network will be leased out on a fixed rate allocation system on an 'open for all' basis via a web portal to eligible users. It also added that an official OFC allotment policy is in the process of finalisation, with consultations being held with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as well as the department of telecommunications (DoT).
The development of Digital Highways in India will not only have a catalytic effect on country's growth and development but also expedite India's digital transformation.