National Optic Fibre Network

Idukki in Kerala has become India's first district to be linked to the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN), the ambitious government project that aims to offer high-speed broadband connectivity in all the villages in the country.
On Monday, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made the formal announcement of linking the hilly district with eight block offices and 53 gram panchayats to the network. The fibre was laid by As reported earlier, the government expects to connect 20,000 villages across the country through optic fibre by March-end.
Kerala is scheduled to become fully digitally connected by end-March. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, also in southern India, are likely to follow next.
The telecom department (DoT) had advanced the deadline for digitally connecting the entire country to December 2016, from March 2017. According to the initial timeline, the government had to connect 50,000 of the total 2.5 lakh gram panchayats by end-March, 2015.
According to senior telecom officials, most issues stalling the project have been settled, including right of way for laying the fibre. “State governments realise that they are going to be the biggest beneficiaries of this nationwide project and logistical issues have more or less been resolved,“ the minister had previously said. Among other things, Prasad has written to transport minister Nitin Gadkari, requesting that the government should ensure provision for laying optic fibre along new highways constructed.
NOFN is the backbone of the government's Rs.1.13-lakh crore Digital India project under which the Centre hopes to deliver social and economic services through broadband.
Once implemented, NOFN is expected to provide 100 mbps (megabit per second) bandwidth to each gram panchayat to facilitate broadband services. The government estimated the cost of the project at ` Rs.20,000 crore, but sources say it has already escalated to close to Rs.30,000 crore.

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