National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is an ambitious initiative to trigger a broadband revolution in rural areas. NOFN was envisaged as an information super-highway through the creation of a robust middle-mile infrastructure for reaching broadband connectivity to Gram Panchayats.
The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats (GPs). To achieve this, the existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary. Dark fibre network thus created was lit by appropriate technology thus creating sufficient bandwidth at the Gram Panchayats.
Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), ISPs, Cable TV operators and Content providers to launch various services in rural areas. The NOFN project was funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version - BharatNet was conceived as a nation-wide broadband network.
BharatNet is a project of national importance to establish a highly scalable network infrastructure accessible on a non-discriminatory basis, to provide on demand, affordable broadband connectivity of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all households and on demand capacity to all institutions, to realise the vision of Digital India, in partnership with States and the private sector.
The entire project is being funded by Universal service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country. The objective is to facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to the rural India.
The project is a Centre-State collaborative project, with the States contributing free Rights of Way for establishing the Optical Fibre Network. The three-phase implementation of the BharatNet project is as follows
- The first phase envisages providing one lakh gram panchayats with broadband connectivity by laying underground optic fibre cable (OFC) lines by Decmeber 2017.
- The second phase will provide connectivity to all 2,50,500 gram panchayats in the country using an optimal mix of underground fiber, fiber over power lines, radio and satellite media. It is to be completed by March 2019. For success in phase-2, which will also involve laying of OFC over electricity poles, the participation of states will be important. This is a new element of the BharatNet strategy as the mode of connectivity by aerial OFC has several advantages, including lower cost, speedier implementation, easy maintenance and utilization of existing power line infrastructure. The last mile connectivity to citizens was proposed to be provided creating Wi-Fi hotspots in gram panchayats
- In the third phase from 2019 to 2023, state-of-the-art, future-proof network, including fiber between districts and blocks, with ring topology to provide redundancy would be created.
- The scope of BharatNet has now been extended to reach all villages in the country in accordance with the announcement made by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 15th August 2020.
- On 30.06.2021, Government accorded approval for a revised strategy for implementation of BharatNet through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in 16 States of the country covering about 3.61 lakh villages (including 1.37 lakh GPs).
- As on 01.11.2021, the status of implementation of BharatNet is as under:-
- As on 01.11.2021, out of the remaining Gram Panchayats to be connected under BharatNet Phase-II, a total of 1,79,247 GPs have been connected by laying 5,52,514 km Optical Fibre Cable (OFC), out of which 1,61,870 GPs are Service Ready.
- In addition, 4218 GPs have been connected over satellite media taking the number of total Service Ready GPs to 1,66,088.
- Detailed optical fiber connectivity plan pertaining to various blocks and GPs
- List of Gram Panchayats across various districts of India
- List of active Gram Panchayats connected live on the Network and their GIS VIEW
Source : Bharat BroadBand Network Limited