6236 GPs of Odisha to be covered by Optical Fibre Network, tripartite MoU signed
The Union Government has approved a project to create National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 2, 50,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC).
The Central Government, through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), is funding the project while the contribution of State Government would be by providing free Right of Way (RoW) for laying OFC. The project envisages signing a tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among Central Government, State Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited, BBNL (the SPV incorporated for execution of the project).
On Friday, tripartite MoUs were signed in the presence of Union Minister of Communications & IT, Kapil Sibal, with 10 States /UTs: Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Total of 85731 GPs will get covered by Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.
Earlier, 16 States/UTs had already signed MoUs on 26.10.2012: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 3 Union Territories viz. Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Puducherry. This arrangement covers 1,40,727 GPs to be provided with Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.
The BBNL will soon commence the work in above States/UTs taking OFC to Gram Panchayats and in remaining States work will be taken by BBNL as and when States are ready to sign MoU.
With the availability of NOFN at 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mbps will be available at each of GP and will lead to proliferation of broadband services.Benefits to States include the following:
1. Empowering rural masses by giving them access to information, public services including those of education, health and financial inclusion.
2. Various applications for Panchayats for planning, management, monitoring and payments under various government schemes (e.g. MNREGA, PDS, Land Records, Birth/Death Certificates, Digital Literacy, etc.), e-Governance, education, health, employment, agriculture and commerce may be launched using this network
3. As access service providers like Mobile operators, Internet Service Providers, Cable TV operators, content providers etc. launch their access network and services using NOFN, it will result in creation of local employment, revenue generation and growth of GDP leading to overall prosperity of the State.
NOFN project will take the technology to grassroots level and open new opportunity for the benefit of masses.