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BSNL to cover 48% rural area

Press Trust Of India  |  New Delhi 

State-run is planning to set up 100,000 covering 48 per cent of the rural population by 2007 in an affort to provide broadband and connectivity in these areas.
For this purpose, the Public Sector Unit (PSU) is seeking equity partnerships from various stakeholders under the rural information society initiative and has invited expressions of interest from stakeholders.
The "information kiosk" forms the core of rural broadband connectivity. The kiosks (public tele information centers (PTIC) and high-speed ptics (HPTIC) will be set up in a phased manner so as to cover roughly 100,000 villages in three years which approximately covers 48 per cent of the total rural population, BSNL officials said.
has also agreed to the concept in-principle and has indicated towards disbursing funds from the universal service obligations fund (USO fund) to various stakeholders in the initiative, they said.
For the kiosk concept to be successful, officials said it is necessary to define a business and financial model that becomes self-sustaining in the long term.
There is a need for synergy between different stakeholders who have to be brought together on an equity basis.
Investments are to be brought in by each stakeholder. Therefore, to sustain the model, the benefit of the uso fund should also accrue to each stakeholder in proportion to his investment and risk. BSNL will coordinate this, they said.

First Published: Wed, March 16 2005. 00:00 IST