NOFN to be rolled out by BBNL
The central government's promise to provide connectivity to 2, 50, 000 gram panchayats may come true very soon as the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is all set to roll out this fiscal. Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL), which has been specifically created by the central government for the implementation of this project will be rolling out the network.
BBNL will be laying the incremental cable from wherever it exists today, (usually at the block level), to the gram panchayat level. This will involve laying about five lakh kilometers of optical fibre. BBNL is working at full speed to lay the network.
A meeting was held in the prime minister's office (PMO) on Tuesday in order to ensure that the backbone facility that is being created is fully utilized and the network being created by BBNL enables government departments to roll out e-Services and e-Applications nationally.
Based on the decision taken in this meeting, a co-ordination committee has been set up to give a push to this effort.
The committee consists of secretary, department of telecommunications as chairman and the secretaries of information technology, health & family welfare, school education & literacy, higher education, food & public distribution, panchayati raj, rural development and the chief managing directors of BBNL and BSNL as members. The administrator of the United States Obligation Fund will be the convenor.
The committee will assess the requirement of various ministries, departments and public sector undertakings of central as well as state governments to have a pan India network to offer government-to-citizen (G2C) services upto panchayat Level on NOFN and evolve a framework to facilitate the design the same through BBNL.
It is expected by the government that by the time NOFN is rolled out, ministries, both at the central as well as at the state level, will be ready with applications to be rolled out on the network.
Total investment on the project is estimated to be around Rs 20, 000 crore.