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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 05 September, 2021

  • 5 Min Read

National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) - now BharatNet

  • 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 Ministry of Communications has launched the National Broadband Mission that will facilitate universal and equitable access to broadband services across the country, especially in rural and remote areas.

Aim of NOFN

  • To facilitate the delivery of e-governance, e-health, e-education, e-banking, Internet and other services to rural India.
  • To connect all the 2,50,000 Gram panchayats in the country and provide 100 Mbps connectivity to all gram panchayats.
  • To achieve this, the existing unused fibres (dark fibre) of public sector undertakings (PSUs) (BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid) were utilised and incremental fibre was laid to connect to Gram Panchayats wherever necessary.
  • Non-discriminatory access to the NOFN was provided to all the service providers like Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), Cable TV operators and content providers to launch various services in rural areas.
  • The entire project is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which was set up for improving telecom services in rural and remote areas of the country.
  • Dark fibre network thus created was lit by appropriate technology thus creating sufficient bandwidth at the Gram Panchayats.
  • Based on NOFN experiences, newer, updated and upgraded version - BharatNet was conceived as a nation-wide broadband network.

Dark fibre

  • It is an unused optical fibre that has been laid but is not currently being used in fibre-optic communications. Since fibre-optic cable transmits information in the form of light pulses, a ‘dark’ cable refers to one through which light pulses are not being transmitted.
  • Companies lay extra optical fibres in order to avoid cost repetition when more bandwidth is needed.
  • It is also known as unlit fibre.

Source: PIB


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