The Government of India approved the project for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) connecting all the 250000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Cable (OFC). The Union Government decided to fund the project through Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
The State Government on the other hand, will have the role of providing free Right of Way (RoW) for laying OFC. The project envisaged signing a tripartite MoU for free Right of Way (RoW) among the Union Government, State Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL).
16 States/UTs signed the MoUs on 26 October 2012. These states and UTs were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and 3 Union Territories viz. Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Puducherry. Under the MoUs, 140727 GPs will be facilitated with Optical Fibre Network in these States and UTs.
Tripartite MoU were signed in the presence of Union Minister of Communications & IT with other 10 states and UTs on 12 April 2013. These states and UTs were Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In these states and UTs, overall 85731 GPs will get covered by Optical Fibre Network.
BBNL will start the work in these states and UTs taking OFC to Gram Panchayats. With the availability of NOFN at 250000 Gram Panchayats a minimum bandwidth of 100 Mbps will be available at each of GP and will lead to proliferation of broadband services. NOFN project will take the technology to grass root level and open new opportunity for the benefit of masses.