The Prime Minister’s Office has dialed into the Rs 20,000-crore national optic fibre cable project, which is slated to provide broadband connectivity to about 250,000 Gram Panchayats, to ensure that this network is fully utilised when completed. The PMO has set up a coordination committee to ensure that all government departments’ roll out services and applications on this national optical fibre cable network project, said an official aware of the development.
Earlier this year, the telecom department had accepted the finance ministry’s demand and decided to set up a special purpose vehicle called Bharat Broadband Network (BBNL) to execute this project that will be funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund. BBNL is slated to be operational by November next year and will combine the optical fibre cable infrastructure of PSUs including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, RailTel and Power Grid, in addition to allowing private players to join in at a later date.
The coordination committee that was set up following a recent meeting at the PMO consists of representatives from several ministries including telecom and IT, health and family welfare, school education and literacy, food and public distribution, Panchayati Raj, rural development, amongst others, an official quoted above added.
This committee must assess requirements of all ministries, public sector undertakings and government departments that can offer services on this network. It must also map out the framework to take e-services up to the Panchayat level. The government plans to drive all e-governance projects on this platform.
The problem with the government here is that there are numerous committees set up but they somehow do not function as expected. This optic fibre cable project is very important for a country like India and can give tremendous scope for development if it is executed properly. Lets home this committee does its work well and the project takes off soon.