Fresh impetus for BSNL PCOs, Intel lends helping hand

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Bangalore, Aug 18 (UNI) Public Sector BSNL has come out with an attractive business plan --'E-PCO'-- to benefit over four lakh BSNL enabled Public Call Offices (PCO) in Karantaka which were suffering revenue loss following the advent of GSM and CDMA mobile services, Karnataka PCO Operators Association President S V Rajendra said today.

Talking to presspersons here, he said that 'E-PCO', which enables PCO operator to offer value added services with broadband connectivity, was launched in collaboration with Intel, Karnataka PCO Association, and ItzCash.

Stating the 'E-PCO' service, the first-of-its-kind in the country, would help drive self-employment, bridge digital divide and increase IT adoption in semi-urban and rural areas.

With BSNL having decided to provide broadband facility to all its PCOs across the State free-of-cost and without monthly rent, a PCO operator can offer host of services to citizens in its neighbouring locality, including railway tickets, bus tickets, flight tickets, internet browsing, checking e-mails and other related value-added facilities.

Mr Rajendran said with the advent of GSM and CDMA mobile services the number of PCOs operating in Karantaka have drastically came down from ten lakh to four lakh along with the revenue.

The PCOs were contributing over 65 per cent of the total revenue to BSNL which was reduced to only 20 per cent now.

''With the launch of E-PCO, the negative trend was likely to reverse and benefit all stakeholders, including BSNL, consumers and also PCO operators,'' he claimed.

Outlining the concept of E-PCO centre, Mr Rajendran said Intel, ae world leader in silicon innovation had developed the technology which was brought to all the PCO operators to deploy.

The PCO Association, Karantaka, had decided to popularise it by introducing in all district headquarters for the benefit of its members.

BSNL Karnataka, Intel, ItzCash and Karnataka Government have partnered in bringing this innovative technology envisaged to accelerate broadband connectivity in rural areas and bridge digital divide, he said.

Spaking after launching the service, Karnataka Minister for IT Katta Subramanya Naidu said the E-PCO concept would help take technology to rural areas deprived of such facilities.

The Karnataka Government will offer all co-operation to further penetrate the use of broadband network to remote areas also, he said.

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