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Shri Kapil Sibal presides over Signing of Tripartite MoU on ROW & NOFN between GOI, State Government and BBNL


The 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).
           
16 States/UTs have 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.

Tripartite MoU were signed in the presence of  Union Minister of Communications & IT, Shri Kapil Sibal  with further 10 States /UTs today: 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.

The number of Gram Panchayats to be covered in these states/UTs are

S.No.
State Name
No. of Gram Panchayats
1.
Assam
2206
2.
Bihar
8474
3.
Gujarat
13883
5.
Himachal Pradesh
3243
6.
Jammu & Kashmir
4098
7.
Maharashtra
27906
8.
Nagaland**
1110
9.
Odisha
6236
10.
Punjab
12425
11
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
69

Total
79650
** Equivalent rural bodies

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:

Ø  Empowering rural masses by giving them access to information, public services including those of education, health and financial inclusion.
Ø  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
Ø  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 grass root level and open new opportunity for the benefit of masses.

******
MV/RK

(Release ID :94655)

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