India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has invited bids from both private and state-owned operators to roll out around 28,000 fixed line broadband exchanges and 6,000 satellite broadband sites as part of efforts to increase broadband penetration across the country, particularly in rural regions. According to the Economic Times the project will be funded from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), which at present is understood to have around INR200 billion (USD4.1 billion) in unutilised funds. The successful bidders will be required to share their infrastructure with other operators, and the subsidy granted by the USOF will be allocated in a phased manner, with the final value determined by the degree to which infrastructure is shared.
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