The newly formed Space Industry body, Indian Space Association or ISpA said that Government of India should consider a subsidy for satellite communications (satcom) providers through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to bridge the existing digital divide and serve the diverse set of sectors, complementing the ongoing BharatNet initiative.
Mr. Jayant Patil, ISpA Chairman said “The government is rolling out BharaNet that also has a cost to rollout. But the government looks at this as a national priority to be able to digitally connect people for education and health purposes in each village of the country. And if the government so feels, it would like to perhaps use the USOF subsidy to roll out the same connectivity using satellite“.
USOF is a Rs 55,000 Crore strong corpus, established in 2002 by the Government of India to offer widespread and non-discriminatory access to digital services to those living in the country’s rural and remote areas.