Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology


Optical Fibre Network Project


Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-

 (a)   the progress under the National Optical Fibre Network project, including the number of Gram Panchayats connected to the Broadband network so far; 

(b)   whether it is a fact that Government has missed the October, 2013 deadline; 

(c)    if so, the details thereof and the reasons for the delay; and 

(d)   the time period within which it is likely to be implemented?



(a): Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL), the Special purpose vehicle constituted for implementation of the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) has implemented three pilot projects covering Gram panchayats (GP). Details are as under:

(i)     Arain block, District Ajmer, Rajasthan State - by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) linking 30 Gram panchayats (GPs)

(ii)   Parvada block, District Vishakhapatanam, Andhra Pradesh - by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) linking 15 GPs.

(iii) Panisagar block, District North Tripura, Tripura State - by Railtel linking 15 GPs.

The pilot project / were completed on 15.10.2012.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) implemented a project to provide user services through NOFN fibre in the above three Blocks as under:

  • All three Blocks and 60 GPs provided with 100mbps connectivity.
  • 195 institutions including schools, Public Health Center (PHC), District Knowledge Centre (DKC), Govt. Offices etc connected with 10 Mbps bandwidth at each location.
  • All locations were provided with computers, printer, UPS and webcam.
  • A Portfolio of services was identified and provided. Services included e-learning, e-medicine, Common Service Center (CSC), MeeSeva and other G2G, G2C and B2C services
  • One operations manager was deployed at each Block level to manage the IT services up to Panchayat level.

(iv)  Survey Work for all 2, 50,000 GPs has been entrusted to 3 Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU's). The quantum of work entrusted to BSNL is 1, 73, 910 GPs / 421 Districts, PGCIL is 36,047 GPs/89 Districts, Railtel is 35,791 GPs/120 Districts. Survey work has now been completed for over 2, 35,000 GPs and validation has been completed for 415 Districts covering 3,424 Blocks and 1, 50,000 GPs.

(v)    Right of Way (RoW) agreement has been signed with all States & UTs except Haryana, Tamilnadu, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep.

(vi)  Tender for procurement of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) and accessories has been finalized on 31.10.2013.

(vii)   Tender for Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) and Solar Power equipment has been opened and tender evaluation is in progress.

(viii)  Tenders for PLB ducts and accessories have been issued by the 3 CPSUs for a significant percentage of units to be covered under phase-I. Bids of some of the tenders have also been opened.

(ix)  Tenders for trenching and laying are in various stages of finalization and evaluation.

(x)  BBNL has accorded approval for floating of tender for Network Management System (NMS) test bed to be set up at Centre for Development of Telematics (CDOT) premises at Bangaluru.

(b) & (c): The Following difficulties were encountered in project implementation causing a delay in adhering to time limit specified by the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure for completion of the project.

(i)  The project is of widely dispersed across the country and require to reach fibre to unreached areas which are rural and remote. The existing fibre (OFC) across the country of all operators is of the order of about 10 lakh km. Of these the three CPS Us – BSNL have laid over 7 lakh km over the last 15 years whereas NOFN itself envisages laying about 5 lakh km of fibre.

(ii)   The existing manufacturing capacity of OFC across the country is 7 lakh km which led to problems in procurement that would be resolved through phasing of implementation.

(iii) The work execution capacity of CPSUs (mainly BSNL) over the last few years has been maximum in the range of 50,000-60,000 km per year to scale up implementation to significantly higher numbers has posed problems.

(iv)  As a prerequisite project entails obtaining and signing tripartite MoU (GOI, BBNL & State Government) with respective State Governments prior to work commencement. MoUs have been signed with 25 states & 4 UTs on four different occasions. MoU with remaining 2 states and 2 UTs is under way.

(d): It is estimated that the project implementation will be completed by 30.09.2015.