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Broadband in 5 lakh villages in 18 months

Broadband in 5 lakh villages in 18 months

The Telecom Ministry aims to provide rural wireless broadband connections to over five lakh villages in one-and-a-half years and will provide a subsidy to both state-owned and private service providers from the Universal Service Obligation Fund. The tender for the same will come by the end of this month. The whole process is expected to take two to three months, which includes advertising, examination of the tender and signing of the agreement. As of 31 December 2010, the USO fund reached Rs 13,789.28 crore. By the end of this financial year, the fund is expected to be Rs 17,000 crore, leaving adequate funds for the venture.

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