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Mobile access scheme for remote and border areas soon

The USOF, which is maintained by the government, was formed to help fund projects to boost connectivity in rural areas. 
•    The money for this fund comes through a ‘Universal Access Levy,’ charged from the telecom operators as a percentage of various licenses fees being paid by them.
•    Last month, Telecom Secretary J.S. Deepak had said that about Rs.10,000 crore will be spent in the current financial year from the USO Fund to execute various digital infrastructure projects to boost connectivity in rural areas. In the last fiscal, about Rs.3,000 crore was spent from the USOF.
•    The official added that another scheme — funded by the USOF — to connect Left wing extremism (LWE)-affected areas in ten identified states in on the “verge of completion.” “Together, these will help take forward the Digital India drive.”
•    As on date, the total available fund in USOF is more than Rs.47,411.56 crore. 
•    The total collection since the scheme was started in 2002-03 stands at about Rs.78,587.31 crore, while total amount disbursed for various initiatives to boost rural connectivity is about Rs.31,175.75 crore, according to government data.
•    The Centre is also in middle of executing the Bharat Net project which aims to connect all of India’s households, particularly in rural areas, through broadband by 2017.

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