Telecom regulator NTA has announced that it will offer a 50% discount on fiber internet services provided with the RTDF (funds). Releasing a notice, it has requested local bodies to keep the terminal equipment secure so that they could continue receiving the service after the project expires in 2 years. NTA has been establishing high-speed fiber internet connections in local bodies with a focus on rural areas.
Under this project, local institutions such as municipalities, ward offices, community schools, colleges, and health centers have received fiber internet connections. The regulator has either replaced the existing ADSL cable with fiber or installed new connections. It is using Rural Telecommunications Development Funds (RTDF) for the project.
As per the agreement, the local bodies receiving internet service don’t have to pay for 2 years. After that, they will be subject to renewal charges as paying subscribers. Besides, NTA is also bearing all the setup costs including necessary hardware and installation expenditure. But it is possible that the gears in use will go unused after the free period concludes. Also read: NTA Invites Missing Local Levels for RTDF Broadband Project
That could be a reason, it has asked the local bodies and concerned authorities to keep the terminal equipment safe.
Local bodies can continue receiving the service after 2 years
NTA has provided broadband internet service in local bodies in agreement with service providers. But the free service is only available for up to 2 years. However, local bodies can still continue receiving the service if they wish. “After the 2 years of free service, they can request for the continuation of the broadband service. It is the duty of service providers to allow the continuity of the service as well,” the notice reads.
The notice then reminds the government’s policy to offer broadband in community schools and health centers at a 50% discount. It means the regulator is keen on offering a discount to those local bodies that are receiving internet under the RTDF project.