Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha today said that since last year, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) market share has increased by 0.30 percent and it rose from 9.05 per cent to 9.35 percent.
He said the Government is committed to provide internet connectivity in rural far flung areas as well and bridge the digital divide.
"The consumption of data from the first quarter to the second quarter has increased almost 60 percent, and in the third quarter, it rose by 3.5 times the consumption of the second quarter," the minister said at BSNL event.
Meanwhile State-run telecom operator BSNL signed a Memorandum of Understandings ( MOU) with the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), to set up 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in its rural exchanges by next four months.
The MOU was signed in front of Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha. BSNL said that 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots shall be funded from the USO Fund, with the government providing full capital expenditure and operational expenditure (OPEX) support to the tune of Rs 940 crore for the project.
"The OPEX support of 100 percent shall be provided by USOF for the first year and thereafter 75 percent in the second year, 50 percent support in the third year of operation shall be extended to BSNL," the statement said. "Under this project, one Wi-Fi Acess Point shall be set up initially in each rural exchange," it added.
"That is why it was necessary that when this project is completed, the digital divide in the rural areas will be ended. The government has taken some immediate (urgent) solutions to that such as the step of providing services through 25,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots and it has been entrusted to the BSNL."