For providing telecom services to the rural & remote areas where the normal market mechanism would not encourage operates to build their networks the concept of Universal Support Service was introduced by the Govt of India in line with many countries of the world.                             

            The New Telecom policy 1999 provided that the resources for  meeting the USO would be raised through a universal access levy which would be a percentage of the revenue earned by the operators under various licensees. The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 1.4.2002. The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act, 2003 giving statutory status to the USOF was passed by the both Houses of Parliament in December 2003. The Rules for administration of the fund known as Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules 2004 were notified on 26.3.2004

            As per the Indian Telegraph Act 1885(as amended in 2003, 2006 and 2008), the fund is to be utilized exclusively for  meeting the universal service obligation ie  providing telecom services to the people in rural and remote areas at affordable and reasonable prices.

             The universal service levy is presently 5% of the AGR of all telecom service providers except the pure value added service providers like internet, voice mail etc.

                The USOF supports mainly 3 categories of activities:-

  1. Rural Telephony (VPTs- DSPTs)
  2. Wi Fi Hotspots
  3. NOFN

Role of the CCA

The implementation of the Universal Support Policy involves financial support from the USOF to the telecom service providers for provisioning telecom services in the rural & remote areas. The operators submit quarterly claims to the offices of CCA.

            The CCAs are responsible for:-

  1. Verification of the USO claims & release of payments.
  2. Inspection of USOF sites & monitoring for establishing veracity of these claims.
  3. Proper accounting of all transactions relating to USO claims.
  4.  Submission of various reports/return to USOF HQs.

USO Schemes in H.P.  Circle

The following two USO agreements are operating at present in HP Telecom Circle:-


Particulars of Agreement

Agreement no.

Period of Agreement.



Agreement for provision. New VPTs as per census 2001.(DSPTs)


30-131/2008-USF dated: 27.02.2009.

27.2.2009 to 26.02.2016 (07 Years). Further extended to upto 18.10.2020


Agreement for Creation, Operation & Maintenance of the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for provision of Broadband connectivity to the Panchayats)    BBNL

30-166/2014-BB-USOF dated 25.02.2014

25.02.2012 to 24.02.2020             ( 08 years)


Setting up public Wi Fi Hotspots at BSNL’s  647 Rural Telephone Exchanges

30-185-2/2017-BB-USOF dated : 09.06.2017

09.06.2017 to 08.12.2020 ( 42 months)

  1. VPTs- Phase-II (DSPT)


  1. This scheme launched in Feb. 2009 to newly identified uncovered inhabited villages where Village Public Telephones (VPTs) were not provided through earlier agreement.
  2. In HP Circle the target for 1399  of VPTs was  fixed as per license agreement and 1342 VPTs installed by the BSNL (USP) so far.
  3. Some villages left out are due to hard areas, snow covered areas deep forests
  4. The scheme envisages support in the form of Front-Loaded Subsidy (FLS) by the Government at technology based rates to cover the capital costs and also Equated-annual/Quarterly-subsidy (EAS/EQS) for the operational costs. The tariff is regulated as per the TRAI guidelines.
  5. The aforesaid scheme  has been extended up to 18.10.2020 for a period of 3 years to provide  subsidy support (Equated Annual Subsidy) for all the VPTs on DSPT at the representative rate of  subsidy. BSNL is a USP for this project.


NATIONAL OPTICAL FIBRE NETWORK – Monitoring of the scheme

On 25th of October 2011, the Government of India approved the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) to connect all 2, 50,000 Gram Panchayats  in the country. This is to be achieved by utilizing the existing optical fibre and extending it to the Gram Panchayats.

Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) is a Telecom Infrastructure provider, set up by the Govt of India for the establishment, management and operation of the National Optical Fibre Network.

The CsCA have been appointed as Designated Monitoring Agency for NOFN project. They have been directed to monitor the NOFN project and ensure the proper adherence to and timely implementation of the various clauses of the NOFN scheme by BBNL.  

Wi Fi Hotspot Scheme

The agreement signed between USP (BSNL) and DoT on 09.06.2017 for setting up 647 Public Wi Fi Hotspots at Telephone Exchanges of BSNL in rural areas using BSNL Fibre for providing  the internet services over Wi Fi network on non-discriminatory basis to all users. 


CsCA are the DMAs for settling the subsidy claim claims after verification based on sample inspection of sites.  Minimum  5% of commissioned site may be inspected by the CCA at least one commissioned site in each  district.

                USO subsidy claims for the VPTs (DSPTs) has been settled up to the quarter ended : Sept, 2018.