The chief minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai has asked the centre to finance setting up of the Karnataka Optical Fiber Network (KOFN) and bear the total cost of Rs 43 billion to tackle internet connectivity problems being faced by 25,000 government offices and institutions in the state.

In a meeting held with union minister for telecommunications and electronics and information technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Bommai asserted the need to establish KOFN as the centre’s BharatNet project has limited reach and availability.

The chief minister also brought to light the poor presence and lack of capability of telecom firms to provide connectivity at the gram panchayat level.

He has requested the union minister to advise Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) to provide a pair of optical fibre core for free, from the Bengaluru Headquarter to gram panchayats until the BharatNet public private partnership (PPP) modelled network is operational. He also requested for 1-2 fibre pairs between Bengaluru headquarter and gram panchayats to be provided by the centre free of cost, after operationalisation of the BharatNet project.