Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) Project for North Eastern Region (NER) in Meghalaya to improve mobile services. The project has provision of 2G and 4G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas of Meghalaya and seamless mobile coverage along National Highways in state. It will be funded by Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Cabinet also approved enhanced cost of CTDP Project for NER for amount of Rs 8,120.81 crore. It already has approved Rs 5,336.18 crore on September2014 for the project.
CTDP aims to strengthening of telecom network that will result in increase in penetration of mobile connectivity in Meghalaya. It will provide affordable and equitable access of communication, information and governance to people. Connecting unreached people of Meghalaya through public mobile network will empower citizens with benefits of ICTs for furthering socio-economic developments. It will also increase innovative skill of uncovered areas of the state through broadband and internet access.
Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF)
USOF was formed by Central Government to help fund projects to boost connectivity in rural areas. The money for this fund comes through ‘Universal Access Levy,’ charged from telecom operators as percentage of various licenses fees being paid by them.