Government has revised the timeline for rolling out optical fibre network for high-speed broadband services and will be able to cover only 1 lakh gram panchayats by the end of this year. “The timeline for connecting 1 lakh GPs (gram panchayats) with OFC (optical fibre cable) to provide broadband connectivity under Phase 1 has been revised to December 31, 2016,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. Also Read - Safer Internet Day 2021: Here's how you can ensure your online securityAlso Read - Mobile internet services suspended on Delhi borders till February 2
Under the NOFN project, the NDA government had planned to connect 50,000 GPs by March 2015, another 1 lakh by March 2016 and rest of the one lakh by December 2016. “Considering the vastness of project execution, the very limited resources deployed by the institutions, time required for tendering, mobilization of physical resources…the time line for completion of NOFN (National Optical Fibre Network) project could not be met,” Prasad said.
The government had approved NOFN project worth around Rs 20,100 crore in 2011 for facilitating at least 100 megabit per second (Mbps) bandwidth in all the estimated 2.5 lakh GPs.
The project is being handled by a special purpose vehicle under the Telecom Ministry which has distributed work to three central public sector units — BSNL, Railtel and Powergrid.