BSNL Eyes DoT Approval For Providing Telecom Services In Naxal-Hit Areas

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BSNL is looking for DoT's confirmation to extend or to shut down its services in the Naxal-hit areas. BSNL installed 356 telecom sites in the affected areas on its own. This comes after Home Ministry asked for towers to be installed in the same areas.

 
BSNL Eyes DoT Approval For Providing Services In Naxal-Hit Areas

The Ministry wants these towers should remain in working condition so that users can connect easily. However, it is looking for DoT approval for the same, reports PTI.
The report said that the letter has been also sent to the administrator of the Universal Service Obligation Fund administrator Anshuli Arya and conveyed this decision of the ministry.

What is Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)

USOF has been developed by the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of the telecom companies. The collected fund under USOF has been handled by the Department of
Telecommunication to provide funds to connectivity in the rural areas.

Notably, 2,200 telecom towers have been installed in Chhattisgarh and nine in other Naxal-affected areas. These towers have been installed so that police and security agencies can communicate.

All towers, which are funded by the USOF have been given for five years; however, they can be extended for two years as per the BSNL tender. So, that security forces can access communication in the affected areas.

BSNL Written To Department Of Telecommunication

The report pointed out that the CMD of BSNL has also written a letter to the telecom secretary and asked for clear direction. The telecom operator wants to know that it should continue to offer services or shut down the towers. The telecom operator said that it is losing money every month to run these sites.

"The period of subsidy support of LWE sites is progressively expiring from July 2020 to March 2022. It said that the BSNL has not got any extension till date and may close these sites if an extension did not come from the telecom department," an official said.

 

It seems that BSNLwants to know the exact status of the towers as it losing money for running these sites, which are not capable of working. However, we believe that communication is really important in such areas as it allows security forces to remain connected.

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