India to invest USD1.1bn in rural services

17 Oct 2006

The Indian government has approved plans to utilise the country’s Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) to ramp up the availability of broadband internet and mobile telephony services in rural and remote areas, according to Dow Jones quoting a Cabinet spokesman. All telecom operators contribute 5% of their annual licence fees to the USOF. The government proposes to use INR50 billion (USD1.1 billion) from the USOF to build out mobile and broadband infrastructure to areas not yet covered by operators. ‘The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 will enable the USOF to extend financial support for provision of mobile services in rural and remote areas,’ spokesman Priyaranjan Dasmunsi said.