If the government has its way, more than two lakh gram panchayats of the country will soon have access to the high speed Internet connection. The Prime Minister Office (PMO) has now shown its keen interest in pushing the Rs. 20,000 crore for National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project, which is aimed at providing broadband connection to 250,000 gram panchayats. The PMO has decided to set up a coordination committee to ensure smooth implementation of the project.
The coordination committee will be headed by telecom secretary and other senior officials from information technology, health and family welfare, school education and literacy, higher education, food and public distribution, Panchayati Raj and rural development departments.
According to the government officials, the NOFN project is being rolled out by the Bharat Broadband Network Ltd (BBNL) – a special purpose vehicle set up to oversee the implementation of this project and rolling out of the network.
With the NOFN project, the Indian government aims to provide e-governance at panchayat levels as well. The coordination committee will be looking into the requirement of different ministries and government departments to have a pan-India broadband access. The committee will also prepare the framework to bring the e-services up to the Panchayat level.
The NOFN is a critical important project for the Indian governance as it envisages establishing telecommunication in all villages across India by 2014 and expanding e-governance in rural and far flung areas of the country. Setting up of the network will ensure high speed Internet and other telcommunication services in rural areas. To know more about NOFN project, read our previous coverage.