18 Dec : Out of 5,93,601 inhabitated villages in the country, 5,30,624 villages have been provided with Village Public Telephones (VPTs) facility. It has been decided to provide the VPT facility in all the remaining 62,977 uncovered villages also with subsidy support from Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) in a period of two years.
As per present policy of Unified Access Service Licences (UASL), there is no roll out obligation for Private Basic Service Operators (PBSOs) to provide telephones in rural areas. However, USO Fund is being extensively deployed for providing subsidy support to increase the penetration of telecom services in rural areas. Apart from BSNL, PBSOs are also participating in various schemes for provision of telecom facilities in rural areas under subsidy support of USOF though bidding process.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia in the Rajya Sabha today.