The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) on Wednesday signed an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to provide support for availability of high-speed internet access to north-eastern states, according to an official statement.
The availability of high-speed internet access would help the citizens in accessing various e-services such as e-governance, e-education, e-health, e-commerce, e-banking, amongst others.
"For making available high quality and high speed internet access to the states of north eastern region of the country, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has signed an agreement with BSNL...for hiring of 10 Gbps international bandwidth for internet connectivity to Agartala from Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), Bangladesh via Cox Bazar/Kuakata," the release said.
Under the agreement, USOF would extend financial support to BSNL for a period of three years for hiring the said international bandwidth.
Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said: "Citizens will get high-speed internet connectivity for better access to e-services in the North Eastern states." USOF is aimed at providing financial support for the provision of telecom services in commercially unviable rural and remote areas of the country. It is an attached office of the Department of Telecom and is headed by the Administrator, USO Fund appointed by the central government.
The resources for implementation of USO are raised by way of collecting universal service levy which is a percentage of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of telecom service providers.
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