Through their website BSNL has announced the rural broadband connection under USOF scheme to increase the broadband penetration in rural areas. Universal Service Obligation Fund(USOF) is being utilized exclusively for meeting the Universal Service Obligation by providing access to telegraph services to people in the rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.
The key highlights of the rural broadband connection under this scheme are:
- Cheap monthly rental (From Rs 99/- and Rs. 150/-)
- Free Modem
- Bandwidth starting from 512 Kbps
- Full details and tariffs here
But these things are in advertisement only. In many areas BSNL authorities are not giving connection under this scheme. The reason they are projecting is – they can not assure the minimum bandwidth of 512 Kbps, especially in rural areas, which is mandatory under this scheme to get fund from USOF. BSNL officials say they can assure only the basic broadband bandwidth of 256 kbps.
It is heard that some hidden circular is behind this to safeguard the BSNL authorities from legal action. If you apply for broadband connection they will simply give you the normal basic broadband connection.
See the fun, in the countries like Finland, high speed broadband connection (1Mbps) has been made as a fundamental right and heading towards an assured bandwidth of 100mbps by 2015. Here our National Internet Backborn can not assure a minimum 512 Kbps bandwidth.
Leave the bandwidth, people are satisfied with 256 kbps, at least BSNL authorities should think about giving the connection under this scheme after getting an undertaking by the customer that he/she will not claim for 512 Kbps or put a “*” in the advertisement(Conditions applied).
This is the best example of Red tapism and communication gap between the Govt departments. How easily they have spoiled a great program to increase the broadband penetration in rural areas.
Please share your experience if any.