The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) has signed a deal in order to install 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in its rural exchange in coming 6 months. This deal has been signed in the presence of Communication Minister Manoj Sinha, and the memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed in the national capital, Delhi.
As per the statement by the telco, the fund for setting up the 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots shall be funded from the USO fund with the government providing full capital expenditure and operational expenditure (OPEX)support of Rs 940 crores for the project. “The OPEX support of 100 percent shall be provided by USOF for the first year and thereafter 75 percent in the second year, 50 percent support in the year of operational shall be extended to BSNL. Under this project, one Wi-Fi access point shall be set up initially in each rural exchange” the statement said.
“This time we have seen a growth of 0.3 percent in the market share. Next time when we meet, it should be less than 10 percent. I expect it to be 10.5 percent but if it crosses 11 percent we will take whatsoever special steps required for BSNL” said the Communication Minister Manoj Sinha at the agreement signing function among BSNL and USOF for Wi-Fi services.
Talking to the media persons the Communication Minister said that “In the past few days, the trend had changed. The consumption of data from the first quarter to the second quarter has increased almost 60 percent and in the third quarter, it rose by 3.5 times the consumption of the second quarter.”
“That is why it was necessary that when this project is completed, the digital divide in the rural areas will be ended. The government has taken some immediate solution to that such as the step of providing services through 25,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots and it has been entrusted to the BSNL.”
Anupam Shrivastava, the CMD BSNL said that The telecommunicating company BSNL is already working in the area of the Wi-Fi hotspots in its own significant way and the company will be delivering this Wi-Fi project in the coming 6 to 9 months for sure.
The Communication Minister also added that “In any case, we have to complete the first phase of BharatNet by June 30. I don’t want anyone to come up and say even 1 kilometer of the work is left. we have to keep the target of lighting up 1,000 villages per day. Many social transformations are dependent on it.”