Rural Call

The Telecom Ministry is revisiting a two year old proposal that was tied to the External Gateway Operator licences, requiring license holders to cough up part of their billing to fund rural communication infrastructure. The Telecom Ministry is revisiting a two year old proposal that was tied to the External Gateway Operator licences, requiring license holders to cough up part of their billing to fund rural communication infrastructure.

The Alliance Government on Monday said it is keen to fast track telecom sector reforms in its effort to serve its rural voter population where teledensity is still in its infancy.

Reforms include bring in new legislation to tap the 32 or so External Gateway Operator’s (EGO) revenues.

In addition, the Minister said talks with the network operators were already underway to get them to scale down on their preconditions to interconnect with EGOs.

External gateway operators have repeatedly accused network operators for dragging their feet on interconnection with preconditions like traffic commitments and forecasts and bank guarantees in the range of Rs. 2 mn and over.

Only two non network operators have interconnected until recently, with others still struggling to mee