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AP FiberNet project launch and cable TV biz

MUMBAI: Multi-system operators (MSOs) will be keeping a close watch on how Andhra Pradesh’s ambitious FiberNet project is taking shape. Though the AP FiberNet project is restricted to Andhra Pradesh, it could impact the businesses of the MSOs if other state governments across the country come out with a similar plan.

Chandrababu NaiduChief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has launched the AP FiberNet project that will provide internet at a speed of 15 mbps, WiFi, a telephone connection and 250 cable television channels (using a triple-play set-top box) for a total price of Rs 149 per month. The set-top box, worth Rs 4,000, is being provided for a monthly installment of Rs 99.

The project has been launched in Mori, a tiny village under Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. All the 1189 households in the village with a population of 4500 have thus become fully digital.

The three services are being provided in the village now on a trial run. In order to provide these connections, the government set up Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Ltd (APSFL).

“Mori is the first Smart village in the country to achieve 100% digital literacy. The Government would put its efforts to change all villages into Smart villages in a phased manner,” Naidu announced on the occasion.

The State government has ordered for 1 million triple play boxes for expanding the AP Fibre Grid services across the state.

AP FiberNetAs reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, the state government of Andhra Pradesh’s AP fibre grid project will help MSOs and local cable operators (LCOs) set up a multi-tenanted digital cable headend that can be utilised as “infrastructure as a service and platform as a service”.

The move is expected to help operators to apply for digital addressable system (DAS) licence and sustain their areas of operations. Andhra Pradesh has 800+ MSOs and 9,000+ LCOs across 13 districts serving 1.3 million subscribers.

The commissioning of AP fibre grid will enable the MSOs and LCOs to utilise network infrastructure and to take part in this project.

The work to lay 24-core ADSS optical fibre cable for a length of around 22,000 km over electrical poles is in progress. As many as 2,449 points of presence (PoPs) will be set up at identified electrical substations to house the electronics. The laying of underground fibre for a length of around 60,000 km will be under Phase II in association with the central government.

The government plans to enrol LCOs as ‘last-mile operators’ to provide services to households connecting to the fibre grid PoPs through their existing networks.

The MSOs can be enrolled as ‘multi-service providers’ offering internet and TV services by connecting to NOC of the fibre grid and delivering through the last-mile operators,

Under the fibre grid project, the Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Ltd (INCAP) would lay 30,000 km of cable network in the state.

The completion of the grid will help provide video, internet and telephone services.

The government will use existing electricity poles for surface network of the fibre grid. The poles will be used for the overhead cable network.

While the AP government will provide the infrastructure, the broadband or cable TV connection to individual subscribers will not be provided by it. This will be provided by cable TV companies.

Cable operators can have access to the network. Telecom operators can also make use of the grid in places where they do not have cables.

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