Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the state-owned telecom operator, announced on Friday the launch of cheap broadband connectivity in Himachal Pradesh. Wired line connections will be provided in rural and remote areas of the hill state in order to promote penetration of information technology in rural and remote areas.
"Under the Universal Service Obligation Fund, BSNL has launched broadband connectivity in rural and tribal areas of the hill state at a subsidised tariff,'' a BSNL spokesman said in Simla.
The government will provide a subsidy of up to Rs850 for individual and government organisations for the first 31 connections. Self-help groups will also be provided connections on a preferential basis, the spokesman added.
The USOF, which was initiated by Department of Telecommunications, will be controlled by BSNL for the implementation of this project in rural areas across the country. At least 28,000 existing rural wire line exchanges will be provided subsidy support by the fund.
''From each exchange a maximum of 32 connections – including 25 individuals, six government institutions and one kiosk subsidised by USOF – will be provided in the state,'' the official said. BSNL will also provide one kiosk for every exchange, and they will remain open from 8 am to 4 pm, BSNL added.