Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced that Public Call Offices (PCOs) in Karnataka (south Indian state) will be converted into e-PCOs soon.
The e-PCOs will enable information system with a personal computer, webcam, broadband link and a printer to provide a host of online services in English and other vernacular languages.
This project is undertaken by BSNL is collaboration with Intel, ItzCash Card and Karnataka PCO Owners Association. The e-PCOs will provide voice, data and video-conferencing facilities to the common man in semi-urban and rural areas of the state.
The first phase of e-PCO will be set up in the 29 districts across the state. The existing PCO operators who have BSNL connection will get a rental-free broadband link for converting their booths into e-Kiosks.
The operator will receive commission for e-Transactions carried out in the PCO. e-PCOs will provided services such as usage of Internet, browsing, chatting and e-Mailing. Apart from this, it will allow people to pay their water, electricity and telephone bills. Customers can re-charge their mobiles in these e-PCOs. It will also allow the sale of insurance and banking products and offer online transactions for cinema tickets, cable subscriptions and video communication.
e-PCOs will be a great means to bridge the digital divide with the use of hi-tech technologies. It is also expected to generate self-employment to thousands of educated youth in semi-urban and rural areas of Karnataka with increasing IT adoption.