New Delhi: The government has advanced deadline for rolling out national optical fibre network (NOFN) across all 2.5 lakh village panchayats by a quarter to December 2016.
The last phase of NOFN roll out to connect 1 lakh village panchayats will be completed by December 2016, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Earlier, government had set the target of completing NOFN roll out across 2.5 lakh village panchayats by March 2017. There is no change in deadline for phase 1 and 2 under which government has announced to connect 50,000 village with NOFN by March 2015 and 1 lakh by March 2016.
"NOFN is expected to provide the basic infrastructure for facilitating provision of broadband services in rural areas by telecom service operators," Prasad said in a written reply.
The Minister said that roll out of services using 3G and broadband wireless spectrum which was put to auction in 2010 would also lead to expansion of broadband facilities in the country.
Replying to a separate question on broadband services, Prasad said, "Once implemented NOFN will provide 100 mbps (megabit per second) bandwidth to each gram panchayats to facilitate broadband services."