Ans: This is part of the Digital India initiative of the Government of India. NOFN is envisaged as a non-discriminatory Telecom infrastructure which will bridge the gap in rural access.
NOFN, which is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications & IT, Govt. of India, is envisaged to provide non- discriminatory access to bridge the digital divide across rural India.
“The establishment of NOFN will open up new avenues for access service providers like mobile operators, cable TV operators etc. to launch next generation services and spur creation of local employment opportunities encompassing e-commerce and IT outsourcing, as well as e-banking, e-health and e-education”
The project is being implemented by three central PSUs (CPSUs) namely BSNL, PGCIL and Railtel in the phase first. The Government of India entity, Bharat Broad Band Nigam Limited (BBNL), will centrally manage the project through a high capacity Network Management System being developed by C-DOT. A key feature of the project is that the GPON equipment used in the project has been indigenously designed and developed by C-DOT and manufactured domestically. The monitoring of the progress of the project will be done thorugh Primavera Software.
In the first phase NOFN shall be extended to cover 50,000 GPs, with the balance 2,00,000 GPs expected to be covered in a phased manner by Dec 2016.