Private sector brought in to Indian broadband effort

Posted on December 24, 2014  /  2 Comments

Reliance on public-sector entities alone was identified as a critical weakness in India’s NOFN plans during the Expert Forum we organized in New Delhi in March 2014. The event had significant participation from senior Indian government officials. Did it, and other writings, make any contribution to the change in course described below?

In a shift from its previous stance, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has now decided to rope in private sector for the ambitious National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project.

The moves comes since it sees roping in the private sector as the only way out to meet the new deadline of March 2016 set by the government, as against December 2016 earlier, to complete the R21,000-crore project.

Besides, the change in strategy also got necessitated in view of the tardy pace of progress of the project, which aims to link 2.5 lakh villages through optic fibre. This slow progress is attributed to a lack of coordination among the public sector agencies executing it currently.

Full report.


  1. Right-of-way has been impeding the project. Some states were levying hefty RoW charges, equivalent to Rs 1.27 crore (US$ 208,000) per km, according to press reports. I hope the government has addressed this issue.