Thiruvananthapuram: India's first hi-speed rural broadband network would be commissioned in Kerala's high range Idukki district Monday, ushering in a new era of Digital India.
With the commissioning of the network, Idukki with a large tribal and rural population would become the first district in the country to have all its gram panchayats connected through National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), an official release said here Sunday.
Union Minister for Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad will commission the network at a function here, where Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is expected to be the chief guest. The establishment of NOFN would open up new avenues for access service providers like mobile and cable TV operators to launch next generation services.
According to the release, NOFN is the largest rural connectivity project of its kind in the world. It seeks to link each of the 2.5-lakh gram panchayats of India through broadband optical fibre network. NOFN is expected to facilitate broadband connectivity to over 600 million rural citizens of the country over its completion.
It will enable the gram panchayats to have 100 Mbps of bandwidth, thereby facilitating the delivery of various e-Services and applications including e-health, e-education, e-governance and e-commerce in the future, the release said. In the first phase, NOFN shall be extended to cover 50,000 gram panchayats and the remaining 2 lakh is expected to be covered in a phased manner by 2016, it added.