The Minister of Communications & IT Mr. Kapil Sibal on Saturday called the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), a project, which would connect all the 2, 50,000 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country through Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) in two years, s a paradigm shift which would transform the way India works. Sh Sibal was speaking at a function in New Delhi where 13 State governments and 3 Union territories signed tripartite Memorandums of Understanding for free Right of Way (RoW) with the Central Government and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL — the SPV incorporated for execution of the project).
Calling it the ‘end of distance”, the Minister said from people reaching out to the government we have now come to the government reaching out to the people. He emphasized that the content that would be “riding” on the virtual highway would be equally important, and its success would lay on it being accessible and affordable to the common man. Sh Sibal said it is now upto the State governments to digitize all data, and make it interoperable not just within the state but also inside the country.
Mr. Ashok Gehlot and Mr. Vijay Bahuguna, Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand respectively were among the representatives of State governments and Union Territories who signed the MoUs.