Vodafone and Aircel have started talks with the government on how to speed up the much delayed national broadband project. The government recently setup a committee on NOFN to fastrack the project. The NOFN project has assumed greater importance after the announcement in August of the Digital India initiative, a programme to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
A way is to get private companies lay down optic fibre in the second phase of NOFN, which aims at providing broadband connectivity to 250,000 panchayats by December 2016 at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore.
Aircel had a workshop with the DoT and Bharat Broadband Network officials on how they can collaborate on the project and what they should do to build the high-speed data network. BBNL, a special purpose vehicle set up by the government in 2012 is responsible for management and operations of NOFN under the administrative control of the Ministry of IT and Communications. The NOFN project, which was initially estimated to cost Rs 20,100 crore and was approved by the Cabinet in October 2011, is running behind schedule and has seen a cost overrun of 75% because of delays… See more