DOT to rope private sector experts to implement NOFN

DOT to rope private sector experts to implement NOFN

Govt aims to cover all GP by December 2016

DOT to rope private sector experts to implement NOFN

Aiming to expedite the implementation of the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN), which is backbone for the NDA Government’s Digital India programme, the Centre is planning to rope experts from private sector professionals.

Besides, the government is also planning to put in place a system which can track the loopholes in the execution of much delayed NOFN.

Recently the Department of Telecom has set up a high level committee to suggest changes in design and architecture of the project, as well as recommend other measures for implementation, such as a business model for effective utilisation of bandwidth created under NOFN.

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 set the target of connect all gram panchayats by December 2016 with broadband, the Department of Telecom has sought the state government help in execution of the programme.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has already written to all chief ministers urging them to treat the optic fibre network like a utility and allow for its provisioning along the lines of sewage disposal, LPG, water and other utilities.

The government’s ambitious project NOFN aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by December 2016. The estimated cost of the project is around Rs 30,000 crore.

The DOT has set a target of rolling out optical fibre network across 50,000 village panchayat by the end of this financial year, 1 lakh more by March 2016 and another 1 lakh by the end of 2016. The early completion of NOFN is key to implementation of the Digital India programme of the Government of India.

Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL), a special-purpose vehicle set up by the government in 2012, is responsible for management and operations of NOFN.
 
BBNL is getting the project executed through three PSUs — BSNL, RailTel and PGCIL — in a ratio of 70:15:15.

NOFN was recently launched in Kerala’s Idukki district and the costal state is likely to be the first state to be fully connected with NOFN by the end of March this year.

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