wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, , , ,

BSNL to install 25K WiFi hotspots in rural areas with USOF subsidy

State-owned telco BSNL will install 25,000 new WiFi hotspots across rural areas in the country through financial support from Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF)—a government owned fund that that is exclusively meant for subsidizing telecom services, reports Economic Times. The entire project is expected to go live within the next six months.

BSNL is eligible to secure funds of up to Rs 940 crore, which will be disbursed over a three-year period. In the first year, USOF will cover 100% cost incurred by BSNL for its WiFi project; in the second year USOF will cover 75% cost and another 50% in the third year. Note that BSNL had received Rs 1250 crore in subsidy funds from USOF in September last year for its rural broadband service.

However, the new funds from USOF are in contravention of the Cabinet’s stance: it had said last year that the Rs 1,250 crore subsidy would be “the last and final payment and no further request from BSNL for financial/subsidy support from USOF on this count shall be considered.” USOF had disbursed a total of Rs 8,629 crore as subsidy to BSNL for providing cheap rural wireline and broadband connection since April 1, 2002. These funds were released between April 2002 to July 2012, based on TRAI’s recommendations.

BSNL has also found other ways to make WiFi rollout cheaper for itself.  It outsourced a Rs 1,000 crore WiFi deployment contract to a consortium of companies led by Larsen & Toubro in February. The contract was for installing 35,000 WiFi hotspots in the country by March 2018. BSNL is also making money by leasing bandwidth to Facebook’s Express WiFi project.

Other BSNL WiFi projects

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

In India, BSNL has been installing its own WiFi hotspots in various locations, including at tourist destinations, and more hotspots in 40,000 locations around the country to make up for the lack of its own 4G services. It recently deployed 3,000 WiFi hotspots in Assam, and in October last year, it had signed a deal with the Union Tourism Ministry to equip 100 tourist destinations with high-speed public hotspots. In the same month, the telco said that it would install WiFi at 10,000 government owned schools in Kerala. Apart from this BSNL tied up with Tata Communications to allow BSNL users travelling abroad to connect with over 44 million WiFi hotspots around the world, managed by Tata.

Note that BSNL is also part of BharatNet, a government-owned fiber project that aims to connect 1 lakh gram panchayats by 2018. BSNL will use its own fiber backhaul and tap on BharatNet’s cable network reach for its WiFi hotspots.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.


Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.


The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ