The resources for implementation of Universal Service Obligation (USO) are raised through a Universal Service Levy (USL), which is 5% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of all Telecom Service Providers except the pure value added service providers such as Internet, Voice Mail, E-Mail service providers.
Various USOF Schemes are planned to provide access to various telecom services to people in the rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices. Selection of Universal Service Providers (USPs) for implementing the USOF schemes is made by a bidding process from amongst all the eligible operators. The USO Fund has been established w.e.f. 01.04.2002 with the fundamental objective of providing access to all types of telecom services including mobile services, broadband connectivity and creation of infrastructure like Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) in rural and remote areas. The list of Schemes being implemented with subsidy support from USO Fund is given below:
(I) Creation of General OFC Infrastructure:
(a) National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
(b) Optical Fibre Network Augmentation, Creation and Management of Intra-District SDHQ-DHQ OFC Network in North Eastern Region.
(II) Rural Broadband Scheme for expanding provision of Wireline Broadband Connectivity upto village level.
(III) Shared Mobile Infrastructure Scheme
(IV) Public Access: Village Public Telephones
This information was given by Shri Milind Deora, Minister of State for C&IT in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.