Good news for startups – DoT, unable to utilize funds from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) has decided to channelize the fund to invest in communication technology startups.
Basically, telecom operators pay 5% of their revenue to USOF fund for DoT to fund telecom infrastructure in rural India; and the unutilised amount in the USOF crossed the $2.5 billion mark by March this year.
So, the next option for DoT is to explore new ways to increase teledensity in rural India (overall India’s teledensity is 22%, while rural India’s teledensity is still below 10%), and no better way but to call startups to pitch for funding!
“The type of pilot projects, which could be undertaken by the applicants may include new technological developments in the field of rural broadband, rural telephony (fixed, wireless in local loop, mobile), transmission media, general telecom infrastructure like tower, batteries or power plant, hybrid power and other solutions for meeting power requirement of rural telecom installation, customer premises equipment…”[source]
Better late than never! Hope startups are NextBigWhat.com.