Trivandrum: Kerala is aiming to become the first State in the country to have high-speed Internet connecting all the Panchayats across the State in about six months from now. Chief Minister, Shri Oommen Chandy said this while briefing the media after the weekly Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
The CM said that the remaining work on extending broadband connections to Panchayats as part of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) project would be completed by March next year. As per the progress report of the project submitted by the Minister for Industries & IT, Shri P K Kunhalikutty, of the 800 km of cable needed for the project, 150 km had already been laid and work on the remaining part is progressing well.
He also added that the Panchayats would provide office space for setting up the broadband connections and facilitate the laying of cable. Each Panchayat would have to set apart at least 50 sq. ft. of office space for the getting the connectivity. Kerala has 978 village Panchayats in the three-tier local governing system and several of them are already connected to the high-speed Internet.
The National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is a project to provide broadband connectivity to about 2,50,000 Gram panchayats of India at a cost of Rs.20,000 crores. The project was intended to enable the government of India to provide e-services and e-applications nationally. A special purpose vehicle Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) was created as a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) for the execution of the project. The project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
At present OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) connectivity is available in all State Capitals, Districts, HQs and up to the Block Level. The task of connecting Panchayats are being done by utilizing existing fibres of PSUs (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) and laying incremental fibre to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary.
BBNL has extended free bandwidth till December 31, 2014 for promotion of various proof of concepts, pilots and other testing purpose.
Kerala IT News