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DoT mulls incentives to push rural telephony
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Quote:Aiming to push the growth of broadband services in rural areas, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is working on a new proposal to give incentives from the universal service obligation (USO) fund to support wireline services in rural areas.

The new move would nullify the earlier directive of DoT, which had exempted the licence fee on wireline services provided by all the operators in rural areas. The exemption was announced in August 2008 through an amendment to the licence conditions. State-run telecom major BSNL was the main beneficiary from this as it enjoys the largest presence in such areas.

However, the finance ministry did not support the waiver, which could have a financial implication of Rs 1,400 crore (for 2008-09). This impact is unlikely to be agreed upon in the present budgetary situation where the 3G auction is also being postponed, the department said.

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