Home > Uncategorized > National Optical Fiber Network Co-ordination Committee formed

National Optical Fiber Network Co-ordination Committee formed

Government braces up National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) initiative, it has established a Co-ordination Committee, today. It invests Rs 20,000 crore on NOFN to provide broadband connectivity to 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats.

On 25 October 2011 press release by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, mentioned approval of a scheme for creation of a National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing Broadband connectivity to Panchayats, by the Union Cabinet.

The objective of the scheme was to extend the existing optical fiber network which is available up to district / block HQ’s level to the Gram Panchayat level initially by utilizing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). The cost of this initial phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be about Rs.20,000 crore. A similar amount of investment is likely to be made by the private sector complementing the NOFN infrastructure while providing services to individual users.

Another press release from the PMO’s office today clarifies that Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL) will roll 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 5 lakh kilometers of optical fiber.

Earlier this year the  government has decided to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle called Bharat Broadband Network Ltd for implementing this project.

The committee was set up after a meeting at the PMO to ensure that the backbone facility that is being created for NOFN be fully utilised and the network enables the government to roll out e-services and e-applications nationally.

This committee will assess the requirement of various ministries/ departments of government, state governments, and public sector undertaking of central or state governments, to have a PAN India Network to offer G2C services upto panchayat level. It will also evolve a framework to facilitate the design of PAN India/PAN State Network through BBNL.

The Committee will be headed by R Chandrashekar, secretary, Department of Telecommunications as Chairman. The members of the committee include Secretaries of Information Technology, Health & Family Welfare, School Education & Literacy, Higher Education, Food & Public Distribution, Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and the CMD’s of BBNL, and BSNL. The Administrator, United States Obligation Fund will be the Convenor.

Government expects the applications, at the center and state level, to be in place by the time the optical fibre network is rolled out.

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