With the inauguration of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL's) first Rural Broadband Kiosk at Village Savlaj in Sangli District of Maharashtra recently, the project of setting up broadband kiosks in rural areas under the Scheme titled 'Wire-Line Broadband Connectivity to Rural & Remote Areas' has gotten underway.
The project is being supported by Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund of Department of Telecommunications in form of subsidy for setting up and operating these kiosks. USO fund shall extend a quarterly subsidy of Rs. 20,000 for a period of 3 years for operating these kiosks.
Apart from internet surfing, the kiosks will offer various value added services to the rural populace in form of, utility bill payments, railway ticketing, mobile handsets content download etc. In addition, services of local interest such as agricultural trading, education on crops, micro finance etc will be unique feature of each kiosk. These kiosks shall be established as entertainment and information dissemination hub for the villagers. BSNL plans to engage franchisees at the local level for this purpose.
The Scheme envisages a nation wide rollout of rural broadband kiosks from the existing rural exchanges having optical fiber backbone and last mile copper connectivity. This project is expected to help the nation to spread the broadband/internet knowledge at the rural India doorsteps. The Broadband kiosks will be linked using ADSL2+ technology at speeds as high as 2 Mbps, which has been covered under the BSNL's rural DSL Broadband project across the country, supported by USOF.