LDCE AAO Exam Notes on USOF - Paper IV | USOF (UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND) Short Notes - Postalstudy | Post Office Blog | Materials for | Exams

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LDCE AAO Exam Notes on USOF - Paper IV | USOF (UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND) Short Notes

 THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND (USOF) IN INDIA

– AN OVERVIEW

1.0 BACKGROUND:

1.1 The New Telecom Policy ’99 (NTP’99) envisaged provision of access to basic

telecom services to all at affordable and reasonable prices. The resources for

meeting the Universal Service Obligation (USO) are to be generated through a

Universal Service Levy (USL), which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licenses.

1.2 Keeping in line with NTP’99, the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the issues relating to the Universal Service Obligation were sought. Based on the decisions taken on the recommendations, the Universal Service Support Policy was framed. The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 1.4.2002. The Universal Service Levy presently is 5% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue earned by all the operators except pure value added service providers like internet service providers, voice mail, e-mail etc.

1.3 The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003 giving statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) was passed by both Houses of Parliament in December 2003. Deemed to have come into force from 1st April, 2002, the Fund is to be utilized exclusively for meeting the Universal service Obligation and the balance to the credit of the Fund will not lapse at the end of the financial year.

Credits to the Fund shall be through Parliamentary approvals. The Rules for administration of the Fund have also been notified on 26.3.2004. Both the Act and the Rules are available on the Department of Telecom website www.dotindia.com

2.0 SCOPE OF SUPPORT FROM UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND:

2.1 The scope of the USOF covers rural and remote areas with Public access telephone and individual rural household telephones in Net High Cost rural and remote areas. It also endeavors to implement universal public access broadband services through installation of High Speed Public Tele -Information Centers (HPTICs) in villages with population more than 2000 at Block headquarters. Accordingly, it is planned to take up installation of 5000 HPTICs in the first phase. Data applications including internet browsing, fax, email besides voice telephony will be covered through the installation of Public Tele- Information Centres (PTICs) in all 76,000 villages with population more than 2000.

2.2 The Policy also provides for provision of Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in all 6,07,000 revenue villages and provision of additional Rural Community Phones (RCPs) in nearly 46,000 villages with population more than 2000. Replacement of nonfunctional village public telephone on Multi Access Radio Relay (MARR)

Technology installed prior to 1.4.2002 is also covered under the scope of the USOF. The total number of such phones to be replaced is 1,84,000.


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