Kolkata, Jan 19 (UNI) Telecom regulator TRAI will release a consultation paper next week seeking to discuss the issue of Access Deficit Charge, a levy paid by private firms for subsidising rural telephony in the country.
" A consultation paper will be released on Monday where the issue of ADC would be discussed in three major points, " Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman Nripendra Misra said.
It would take up for discussion whether ADC should be phased out or merged with the universal service obligation (USO) fund, and how an optimum utilisation of the ADC revenue could be used to determine tariff in the future.
Mr Misra said rural telephony roll out was critical but now private players were also taking active interest.
" Rural penetration is about 7-8 per cent while urban penetration is 50 per cent. This wide gap needs to be bridged. We are therefore looking at various ways to ensure this, " he sasid.
Though the government took various initiatives to increase rural penetration and make available telecom services to the rural masses, there had been obstacles and the success rate was limited.
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