The Department of Telecom (DoT) has set up a high-level panel to oversee the timely execution of the much-delayed national broadband network across the country.
The committee consists of Anil Bhargava, member-technology in the DoT, Aruna Sundararajan, administrator, USO (Universal Services Obligation) Fund, V Umashankar, joint secretary, DoT, Som Mittal and Kiran Karnik, both former presidents of Nasscom.
Apart from suggesting suitable technological options to expedite the implementation of the national optical fibre network (NOFN), the panel also recommend business models to be adopted for effective utilisation of bandwidth created under the scheme.
The NOFN, which will be the backbone of the government’s ambitious Digital India programme, has been delayed by over three years.
With the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government setting the target of connecting all gram panchayats by December 2016 with broadband, state governments' help has been sought in the execution of the programme.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already written to all chief ministers urging them to treat the optical fibre network like a utility and allow for its provisioning along the lines of sewage disposal, LPG, water and other utilities.