Telecom Minister A.Raja proposes measures to bridge rural-urban technology divide

New Delhi, Sep 15 (ANI): Focusing on the massive consumer base in the nation's largely unexplored rural markets, Telecom Minister A. Raja proposed measures to bridge the technology divide between villages and the cities.

Speaking at the Indian Telecom Summit here on Tuesday, Raja asserted that money from the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund would be pumped in to ensure universal coverage of telecom facilities and broadband access in rural India.

"Everybody knows, there is a huge accumulation of funds in the USO. It is meant for rural tele-density and broadband services. We want to devise a separate set of rules on how this fund can be exhausted in meaningful and effective manner to help the poor man, who is living in the lowest ebb of the society, by ensuring him with telecom facilities and broadband connections," said Raja.

Union State Minister for Telecommunication Sachin Pilot urged operators to focus on quality service than expanding market base.

He said that the time was ripe for ushering in the era of e-medicine and virtual education in the Indian villages.

"Ultimately, it is the people of this country who comprise the market that should be catered for and serviced. It is perhaps not enough just to give mobility, just to give connectivity, but to be able to give the content in those languages, in those rural parts of our country, where e-medicine and education can be made a reality. Just clocking the numbers is not sufficient, so I urge the industry to also start focussing on the quality of service," he added.

India is the world's fastest-growing wireless market with operators signing up 16 million new users a month on average.

Global mobile equipment makers are fighting to win lucrative contracts in Asia's third-largest economy. (ANI)

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