The Government had taken a decision to set up a National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) to provide broadband connectivity to 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats. The total investment on this is about Rs. 20,000 crores.
2. The NOFN is being rolled out by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL), which has been specifically created for the implementation of this project and 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 5 lakh kilometers of optical fibre. BBNL is working at full speed to lay the network.
3. In order to ensure that the backbone facility that is being created is fully utilized, a meeting was held in the PMO to ensure that 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 CMD’s of BBNL, and BSNL as Members. The Administrator,United States Obligation Fund will be the Convenor.
5. This Committee will:
(i) Assess the requirement of various Ministries/Departments of Government of India to have a PAN India Network to offer G2C Services upto Panchayat Level.
(ii) Assess the requirement of State Governments to have PAN State Network to offer G2C services uptoPanchayat Level.
(iii) Assess the requirement of Public Sector Undertakings of Central Government/State Government to offer their services upto Panchayat Level.
(iv) Evolve a framework to facilitate the design of PAN India/PAN State Network through BBNL; and enable Ministries/Departments of Central Government, State Governments and various Public Sector Undertakings (of Central Govt./State Government) to offer their services on NOFN.
6. It is expected that by the time the optical fibre network 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.