Shimla: To encourage usage of broadband services in rural areas, public sector telephone provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is to provide subsidized wire line connectivity that is to be supported by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).
Citing an agreement between USOF and Department of Telecommunications, a Himachal government spokesman stated that BSNL would provide about 28,000 rural wire line exchanges under USOF support.
The wire line broadband connectivity would be provided in rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices, he said.
At each exchange a maximum of 32 connections (25 individuals, 6 Government Institutional and one kiosk) is to be subsidised by USOF.
BSNL would offer two special USOF tariff plans of Rs 99/- and Rs 150/- per month throughout the validity period of the Agreement, which is eight years, he said. Besides these two packages BSNL will provide other tariff packages as well, he added.
For early birds, USOF would provide subsidy upto Rs 850/- for both individual and Government Institutional connections for the first 31 connections. The fund would also provide computer subsidy upto Rs 4500/- and would be available for the 31 connections.
BSNL is committed not to charge tariffs higher than the tariff as permitted by TRAI regulations. A rebate would be made if the broadband connection remains faulty beyond permissible TRAI guidelines.
Under the scheme women Self Help Groups would be provided at least one connection per rural exchange on preferential basis.
Every designated rural exchange would be provided one kiosk by BSNL preferably on self sustainable commercial – franchisee model.
He said that these kiosks would be provided all modern telecommunication and broadband facilities. These kiosks would remain open for general rural public between 8 am to 4 pm.