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Teledensity in rural India is 16.54% - Indian Comms, IT Minister

Indian Minister of State at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Shri Gurudas Kamat updated his country’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) regarding progress towards rural tele-density projects and penetration...

 Indian Minister of State at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology Shri Gurudas Kamat updated his country’s Upper House of Parliament (the Rajya Sabha) regarding progress towards rural tele-density projects and penetration.  

The percentage of tele-density in the rural areas of India is estimated as of end-May 2009 to be 16.54%. This is against the original target of 4% rural tele-density by year 2010, as per the New Telecom Policy of 1999. 

Under the Bharat Nirman Programme, 66,822 revenue villages not having telephone connectivity were to be provided with the Village Public Telephone (VPT) facility, excluding those villages having a population of less than 100, those lying in deep forests and those affected by insurgency. Agreements were signed with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in November 2004 to provide VPTs in these 66,822 villages. Again as of May 31, 2009, 57,595 VPTs have been provided by BSNL, The remaining VPTs are likely to be phased in by November 2009. 

Meanwhile, a revised list of villages without VPT has been prepared after reconciliation of the actual number of VPTs to be provided compared with the Census 2001. Those 62,443 villages still remaining uncovered are also being provided with the VPT facility via subsidy from the Universal Service Obligation (USO) Fund. An agreement to this effect has already been entered into with BSNL as of 27 February 2009; 26,909 VPTs have already been provided under this agreement, as of May 31, 2009. 

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