Grading Scale

A committee appointed to draw up a working plan to manage monies coming into the telecom development fund are due to come out with a draft plan by end January. A committee appointed to draw up a working plan to manage monies coming into the telecom development fund are due to come out with a draft plan by end January. The plan will outline how network operators could access the fund and to define criteria that will qualify the operators to the money.

Defining un-served and underserved areas is also a key priority for the committee, and will set the basis on which network operators will be allowed to tap the fund.

The fund made up of a levy on international calls has been effective since March 2003, with the monies going to roll out telecom infrastructure in rural areas.

The definition of un-served and underserved areas also faces challenges in defining the coverage of cellular service providers.

Regulatory officials say cellular operators could claim coverage in un-served and underserved areas with the bare minimum signal strength.

The three fixed line operators, now with CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) wireless licenses are also