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Telecom Commission approves scheme for providing broadband in panchayats

The Telecom Commission has approved the scheme for creation
of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity
to panchayats. The objective of the scheme is to extend initially the existing
optical fibre network which extends up to districts  HQ’s/Block HQ’s and Gram Panchayat level by
utilizing Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) .The cost of the initial
phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be in the region of Rs 20,000 crore.

The Telecom Commission has approved the scheme for creation
of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity
to panchayats. The objective of the scheme is to extend initially the existing
optical fibre network which extends up to districts  HQ’s/Block HQ’s and Gram Panchayat level by
utilizing Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) .The cost of the initial
phase of the NOFN scheme is likely to be in the region of Rs 20,000 crore.

In economic terms, the benefits from the scheme are expected
through additional employment, e-education, e-health, e-agriculture and
reduction in migration of rural population to urban areas. As per a study
conducted by the World Bank, with every 10 per cent increase in broadband
penetration, there is an increase in GDP growth by 1.4 per cent. It will also
facilitate the Government to implement its various e-governance initiatives
such as e-health, e-banking, e-education etc. thereby facilitating inclusive
growth.

The scheme will also provide a network for electronic
delivery of services to citizens apart from enabling various services to
citizen services. 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 citizen in
rural areas.

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