DoT waives off licence fee on rural phones, to lose Rs 200cr

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New Delhi, Jul 24 (UNI) In an attempt to boost the rural telephony and e-governance initiatives, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to waive off licence fee levied on rural landline telephones.

The decision taken at a recent Telecom Commission (TC) - a wing of the DoT meeting will result in waiving of around Rs 200 crore per year.

The Telecom Commission also decided to reduce the levy towards the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) from the present five per cent to three per cent of the Adjusted Ground Revenue (AGR).

This is applicable for service providers who have covered over 95 per cent of the rural areas, an official release said today.

The USOF has been set up to create infrastructure support in rural and remote areas for providing telecommunications service to people at affordable and reasonable prices.

These decisions are in line with the government's policy of promoting rural telephony and accessibility of telephone in remote areas.

The aim is to achieve rural tele-density of 25 per cent by means of 200 million rural connections by the end of 11th Five Year Plan, it added.

The rural teledensity in the country stands at about at eight per cent as on December 31, 2007.

UNI AK SG AS1651

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