Internet has now become an indispensable part of our lives. We depend on it 24×7 for various things in our day to day lives. The Government of India is taking various steps in order to spread the wonders of Internet in each and every part of the country. Taking a step in this direction, Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), which is a special purpose vehicle set up by the central government for the establishment, operations and management of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN), has started its work on establishing Wi-Fi hotspots in grama panchayats.
According to Aruna Sundararajan, Chairman and MD, BBNL, this project of establishing Wi-Fi hotspots in grama panchayats will be achieved as soon as the project, which has a goal of establishing a network of high speed broadband internet in 2.5 lakh grama panchayats, comes into existence.
Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology, commissioned India’s first high speed rural broadband network under the NOFN project in Idukki district of Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The official inauguration of the same took place in Technopark on Monday.
According to Aruna, once the network is established, it would work as a neutral non-discriminatory infrastructure that can be utilized equally by private service providers, including the small scale service providers like cable operators to provide internet services to people. She also added, through this project, the central government is trying to achieve an internet revolution in the country.
The network, when established, will enable the easy delivery of services like payments, local planning, monitoring and management under government schemes at panchayats level possible.
India’s NOFN project is being modeled after Australia’s NBN project. Australia is expected to finish the project by 2020, while India’s NOFN might defeat it in the race and finish earlier than NBN.
NOFN will be extended to cover 50,000 grama panchayats in its first phase. The 2,00,000 remaining grama panchayats will be covered in a phased manner by next year. The first phase of the NOFN project is being implemented by three Public Sector Units namely- Railtel, BSNL and PGCIL.