NOFN : Democratizing Information through Broadband to Panchayats
With an aim to democratize information to improve governance and service delivery at the Panchayats through increased efficiency, accountability, transparency & collaboration and greater decentralized decision-making, Government of India has agreed to create OFC based Broadband infrastructure till all the Panchayats. For this purpose, Government of India through DoT had created a High Level Committee (HLC) under the co-chairmanship of Sh. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister for (P3i) & Sh. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman/UIDAI to study and create a strategy plan for providing broadband connectivity to all 2.5 Lac panchayats of the country on fiber optic cable with minimum 100 Mbps speed. Based on there commendation of the HLC, Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure in Oct'11 approved the project at a total cost of Rs 20,000 Cr. The network shall be used to provide various E-Gov services as well as internet facility to all Panchayats for the benefit of all population.
For this purpose a new CPSU, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. has been created which shall take up the work of NOFN implementation as well as own the entire network. RailTel has been selected as one of the implementing partner (along with BSNL & PGCIL) to lay the incremental OFC network to connect the panchayats with respective Block HQs on 100 Mbps broadband speed.
BBNL has allotted 11 states comprising of 36,000 panchayats to RailTel which includes the states of Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Dadar & Nagar Haveli in West, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in South and Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland in North-East.