Indian govt. approves Rs 20,000 crore national optical fiber network project


The union cabinet of India has approved a scheme for creation of a
National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity to

The aim of the scheme is to extend the existing optical fiber network which is
available up to district / block HQ’s level to the Gram Panchayat level
initially by utilizing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

The cost of this initial phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be about
Rs 20,000 crore. A similar amount of investment is likely to be made by the
private sector complementing the NOFN infrastructure while providing services
to individual users.

Benefits from the scheme are expected through additional employment,
e-education, e-health, e-agriculture etc. and reduction in migration of rural
population to urban areas.

As per a study conducted by the World Bank, with every 10 percent
increase in broadband penetration, there is an increase in GDP growth by 1.4

NOFN will also facilitate implementation of various e-governance
initiatives such as e-health, e-banking, e-education etc. thereby facilitating
inclusive growth. It will also provide high bandwidth connectivity for
electronic delivery of services to citizens.

The proposed NOFN will enable effective and faster implementation of
various mission mode e-governance projects amounting to approx Rs 50,000 crore
initiated by Department of Information Technology as well as delivery of a
whole range of electronic services in the above areas by the private sector to
citizens in rural areas.

By Team
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