USOF


  • SUBSIDY DISBURSEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE OBLIGATION FUND


  • The implementation of   Universal     Service Support Policy involves financial support from Universal Service Obligation Fund to meet the net cost of providing the specified Universal Service Obligation. This covers both public access as well as provision of household telephones in rural and remote areas. Selection of the Universal Service Provider is through a bidding process. Successful bidders are eligible for support from Universal Service Obligation Fund after scrutiny of detailed claims submitted by them.  The CCA is responsible for verification of the claims and release of payments.  They are also responsible for inspection and monitoring, for establishing the veracity of claims.


    As a Subsidy Claimant under USO in Jharkhand Circle you may like to know about: 
    1.  Universal Service Obligation 

    2.   
    Role of the CCA Office in Subsidy disbursement 

    3.   
    Transfer of Work relating to USO to CCA Office 

    4.   
    Subsidy Support in Jharkhand 

    5.   
    Salient Features of USO Agreements in Jharkhand 

    6.   
    Check points for Claim Preparation



    NOTE: All Terms and Conditions of USO Agreement are to be followed strictly and this page is only to serve as a guide for Service Providers. 
    The Contact Person for Universal Service Obligation in the Office of JCCA Jharkhand is: 
    Sri SC Mukhopadhyay, CAO
    Office of Controller of Communication Accounts, 
    Jharkhand Circle, ARTTC Building, 
    3rd Floor, Near Jumar River,
    H.B. Raod, Ranchi -835 217. 
    Phone No: 0651- 2210542 
    Fax No.   : 0651- 2273297


    Please contact him for any other queries in this regard

    For more Information on Licensing please see DOT Website: www.dotindia.com

    1. About USO 
    The Universal Service Support Policy came into effect from 1.4.2002. The Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Act 2003 giving statutory status to the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) was passed by both Houses of Parliament in December 2003. Deemed to have come into effect from 1st April 2002, the Fund is to be utilized exclusively for meeting the Universal Service Obligation and the balance to the credit of the Fund will not lapse at the end of the financial year. Credits to the Fund shall be through Parliamentary approvals. The Rules for administration of the Fund have also been notified on 26.3.2004 
    The Universal Service Obligation Fund is headed by the Administrator, USF. The Administrator is empowered to formulate procedures for implementation of the USO and disbursement of funds from the USOF. His office functions as an Attached office of the Department of Telecom, Ministry of Communications & IT. 
    The  Universal Service Levy   is presently 5% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) of all telecom service providers except the pure value added service providers like Internet, Voice Mail, E-Mail service providers etc. As per the Rules, the following activities are to be supported by the USOF, namely:- 


    Stream I: Provision of Public Telecom and Information Services - 


    a)          Operation and Maintenance of Village Public Telephones (VPTs) in the villages identified as per Census 1991 and installation of VPTs in the additional revenue villages as per Census 2001. 


    b)       Provision of additional Rural Community Phones (RCPs) in villages with population more than 2000, after achieving the target of one VPT in every village. 


    c)        Replacement of Multi Access Radio Relay (MARR) based VPTs installed before 1.4.2002. 


    d)       Up-gradation of  a Public Telephone to Public Telecom and Information Centers (PTICs) in villages with population more than 2000, for providing   data applications including FAX, e-mail, internet besides voice-telephony. 


    e)        Installation of High Speed PTICs (HPTICs) for providing additional facilities including tele-education and tele-medicine at Block Headquarters and in villages with a population exceeding 2000. 


    Note: Unless otherwise specified by the Central Government, the Secondary Switching Area (SDCA) shall be taken as a unit for the purpose of arriving at the Net Cost for activities specified in items (a) to (e) of stream I. 


    Stream-II: Provision of household telephones in rural and remote areas. 


    For household DELs installed prior to 1st day of April, 2002, the difference in rental actually charged from rural subscribers and rent prescribed by TRAI of India for such subscribers shall be reimbursed until such time the Access Deficit Charges prescribed by TRAI from time to time take into account such difference. 
    For household DELs installed after 1st day of April, 2002, Capital Recovery, Operational Expenses and Revenue shall be taken into account to determine the Net Cost. 
    Note: Unless otherwise specified by the Central Government, the Short Distance Charging Area shall be taken as a unit for the purpose of arriving at the Net Cost for activities specified in item (b) of stream II


    2. Role of the CCA Office 


    The implementation of    Universal    Service Support Policy involves financial support from Universal Service Obligation Fund to meet the net cost of providing the specified Universal Service Obligation. This covers both public access as well as provision of household telephones in rural and remote areas. Selection of the Universal Service Provider is through a bidding process. Successful bidders are eligible for support from Universal Service Obligation Fund after scrutiny of detailed claims submitted by them.   The Controller of Communication Accounts is responsible for:

  • Verification of the claims and release of payments. 
  •  Inspection and monitoring, for establishing the veracity of claims.
  • Proper accounting of all transactions relating to the USF Fund
  • CCAs submit detailed returns and reports to USF Administration at DOT HQ regarding receipt of claims from Service Providers, settlement of claims, requisition of funds, disbursement of subsidy and monitoring status and reports in the prescribed formats  and as per schedule  prescribed by DOT HQ.
  • 3. Transfer of Work to CCA Offices 


    The work relating to USF commenced in the CCA Jharkhand w.e.f the Claims for the Quarter ending 31.03.2006.   The work relating  to subsidy claims upto Quarter ending 31.12.2005  were settled from CCA, Bihar Circle, Patna. 


    4. Subsidy Support in jharkhand 


    In Jharkhand, the Office of the CCA is at present disbursing subsidy under various agreements as detailed below: 


    Table showing Agreements Under which Subsidy is disbursed by Office of JCCA Jharkhand


    Serial No.

    Name of USP

    Agreement No and Date

     Subject: Subsidy Disbursement towards:

    SSA/SDCAs concerned

    1.

    BSNL

    No-30-160-8/WIRELINE-BB/2006-USF dated 20.1.2009

    Provision of wire line Broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas.

    All

    2.

    BSNL

    No-30-107/2002-USF dated 25.9.03

    Replacement of MARR VPTs after 1.7.03

    All

    3.

    BSNL

    No-30-133/2004-USF dated 30.9.04

    Provision of Rural Community Phones (RCPs) in specified villages where population exceeds 2000.(As per census 1991)

    SSA-No of RCPs to be provided 
    Ranchi            – 134
    Daltonganj         – 159
    Dumka – 118

    4.

    BSNL

    No-30-131/2008-USF dated 27.02.2009

    Provision of VPTs in newly identified uncovered inhabited villages as per census 2001

    Daltonganj         – 971
    Dumka – 1309
    Hazaribagh     – 103
    Dhanbad    – 189
    Ranchi             – 35

    5.

    BSNL

    No-30-130/2004-USF dated 10.11.04

    Provision of  New VPTs in Revenue villages as per cencus 1991 without any VPT facility

    Daltonganj         – 186
    Dumka – 470
    Hazaribagh     – 643
    Jamshedpur     – 158
    Ranchi             – 237

     

      • PROVISION OF WIRELINE BROADBAND
    • The scope of this Agreement aims at provision of broadband connections to the rural and remote areas of the country through the existing wire line network of BSNL.
    • The effective date of the Agreement is 20th January 2009.

     

    • The Agreement shall remain valid for eight years from the effective date.
    • From each exchange a maximum of 31 individual/govt. institutional connections and one kiosk shall be subsidised by USOF.

     

    • For individual/govt. institutional connections, in addition to subsidy for connectivity which shall be paid as FLS and EQA, subsidy for CPE and Computing device shall also be payable.
    • One connection for every exchange is to be given on preferential basis to Women's SHGs.

     

    • All individual/govt. institutional connections shall be provided with CPEs. However, for Computer/Computing device the subscriber shall have an option to have the broadband connection without computer/computing device also. Subsidy support for computer/computing device shall be restricted to 31 connections per exchange.
    • USP shall offer two special USOF Subsidized tariff plans of Rs. 99/- and Rs. 150/- per month throughout the validity period of the Agreement as detailed below:

    USOF TARIFF PLANS

     

    Tariff Plan

    Minimum Speed of the Broadband connection

    Free Download

    Rate per MB for extra usage
    (Rs)

    Monthly charges (Rs)

    Registration  Security, and installation charges
    (Rs)

    CPE rental (for Type I ADSL Modem) (Rs)

    1

    512 kbps

    400MB

    0.4

    99/-

    Nil

    Nil

    2

    512 kbps

    1GB

    0.4

    150/-

    Nil

    Nil

     

    • In addition to these two packages, BSNL will be free to provide other tariff packages as well (Circulated by USOF HQ). However the USOF Tariff plans shall be made available by BSNL through out the validity of the Agreement
    • Prescribed Tariff Packages as per Agreement must be offered.

     

    • Also the USP shall not charge tariffs higher than the tariff as per TRAI orders/Regulations/Directions issued with regard to such service in rural areas from time to time from the subscribers or the tariff charges by the USP for this type/similar type of service in urban areas whichever be lower.

     

      • REPLACEMENT OF MARR VILLAGE PUBLIC TELEPHONE

    ·                     Subsidy for a VPTs shall be for seven years from the date of its replacement or up to the date of termination of Agreement, whichever is earlier. 
    ·                     Roll-out obligation prescribing 50% of the MARR VPTs in the Service Area to be replaced within one year from the effective date of the Agreement and the balance within two years from the effective date of the Agreement.  The period has been extended to 3 years vide letter No. 30-107.2002-USF dated 21/10/2004. 
    ·                     Provision of Liquidated Damages in case of non-fulfillment of the roll out obligation.  The liquidated damages shall be at 10% of the annual subsidy payable for those VPTs for each calendar month of delay or part thereof, subject to a maximum of 20% of the annual subsidy payable. 
    ·                     SSA wise technology neutral Representative Rates. 
    ·                     Review of representative Rate in the third year taking into account, inter-alia the increase in revenue on account of provision of STD facility.  The revised rates to be applicable from the 4th year onwards.  The review has already been undertaken. 
    ·                     Disbursement of subsidy to be made quarterly in arrears. 
    ·                     Claims to be submitted within 30 days from the close of the quarter. 
    ·                     For amount received in excess of 10% of the subsidy due for the financial year, the entire amount paid in excess shall be recovered along with an interest from the date of disbursement at the Prime Lending Rate of SBI. 
    ·                     Deduction of pro-rata subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for more than seven days in a quarter.   In cases where the VPTs remains faulty for 45 days or more than in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire quarter shall be allowed. 
    ·                     With effect from the quarter ending 30-09-2004 VPTs that remain disconnected on account of non payment and VPTs that register no incremental meter reading during the entire quarter shall not qualify for any support for that quarter. 
    ·                     Since BSNL only has emerged as the successful bidder, no performance Bank Guarantee has been imposed.  For BSNL the requirement for submission of PBG has been waived as long as it is a 100% Government owned Company.

    ·                     The Agreement is  valid for a total period of  8  (Eight)  years  from  the Effective date.  The subsidy support shall be extended up to a maximum period of 5 (Five) years from the date the VPT/RCP is installed and made functional. 
    ·                     The universal Service Provider shall receive the Subsidy consisting of a  front loaded subsidy component and equated annual subsidy upto a maximum  period  of  five years, from the date the VPT/RCP  is provided and  made functional .

    • The front loaded subsidy shall be given at the end of the quarter in which VPT is installed and made functional.   The equated annual subsidy shall be disbursed in four quarterly installments during each financial year, with each quarter ending on 30th of June, 30th of September and 31st of March.
    • Deduction of pro-rata subsidy on account of telephones remaining faulty for mare than seven days in a quarter.   In cases where the VPT/RCP  remains faulty for 45 days or more in a quarter, no subsidy for the entire  quarter shall be allowed.
    •  VPTs/RCPs  that register no incremental   meter reading/calls or  remain  disconnected due to non-payment during an entire quarter shall not qualify for subsidy support for that quarter.
    • Roll out obligation: At least 20% of  the VPTs/RCPs shall be provided  by the end of 2nd year. The balance of the VPTs/RCPs shall be provided by the end of third year from the effective date of Agreement.         

    ·                     For the shortfall in providing the required number of VPTs/RCPs by the end of second third year respectively, liquidated Damages at the rate of 5% of front loaded subsidy payable for those VPTs/RCPs for each calendar month of delay or part thereof, subject to a maximum of 10% of the front loaded subsidy thus payable for those VPTs/RCPs shall be recovered, unless the delay has been condoned. 
    ·                     The universal Service Provider shall submit a Performance Bank Guarantee(PBG) valid for one year equivalent to front loaded subsidy disbursable under the Agreement for 2% of the VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which the Agreement is entered into. 
    ·                      From the start of the second year the amount of PBG shall have to be equivalent to the front loaded subsidy disbursable under the Agreement for 60% of the VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which the Agreement is entered into. The PBG shall be reduced to its original amount from the start of the fourth year or on completion of the roll out obligation by installing all VPTs/RCPs in all the SSAs of the Service Area for which Agreement is entered into, whichever is later.  For BSNL the requirement for submission of PBG has been waived as long as it is a d100% Government owned Company.  The Performance Bank Guarantees are being presently maintained at USF HQs.

    • PROVISION OF VPTs IN UNCOVERED VILLAGES(New VPTs Phase-I)

    The scope of this Agreement is provision, operation & maintenance of VPTs in revenue villages, as per Census 1991 without any public telephone facility, by USPs in the service areas detailed in the Agreement.

     

    The effective date of Agreement is 10th November, 2004.

     

    The validity of Agreement is 8 years from the effective date.

    The subsidy support under the Agreement shall be extended upto a maximum period of 5(five) years from the date the VPT is installed and made functional.

    The Universal Service Provider may change the location of VPTs to provide better access to the public within the geographical boundaries of the same village. No subsidy support for relocating the VPTs will be made from USOF on the expenditure incurred on relocation.

    The USP shall be solely responsible for provision and operation of necessary equipment and systems, treatment of subscriber complaints, collection of call charges and issue of receipt thereof, attending to claims and damages arising out of operations.

    The USP shall work within the framework of the terms and conditions of the basic service license.

     

    • PROVISION OF VPTs IN UNCOVERED VILLAGES- phase-II(New VPTs Phase-II)

    The scope of this Agreement is aimed to provide by the Universal Service Provider (USP), VPTs in newly identified uncovered inhabited villages, as per Census 2001 without any public telephone facility, in the service areas described in the Agreement and to operate and maintain such VPTs.

     

     

    In addition to the VPTs specified in the Agreement, the USP may provide the VPTs in other areas also (including those decided by Government time to time) like:

     

      • in villages with more than 40% SC population,
      • villages left out due to naxalite/insurgency prone areas, deep forest, villages left out in other agreements relating to Public access,
      • in Army posts and other remote locations
      • new villages subsequently identified under Census 2001,
      • in hamlets
      • in villages owing to any other reason as specified by Government time to time.

     

     

    The details of such villages described above shall be specified by the Administrator separately and will form an integral part of the Agreement.

     

     

     

    Where VPTs can not be provided under BSO Licence, the same may be provided on GSM using fixed cellular terminals (FCTs) as CPEs, with prior approval of the Administrator.

     

     

    VPTs provided on FWTs/FCTs should be provided with Solar charging devices of adequate capacity as power back up.

     

     

    Charge indicators for computation of charges payable by users to be provided by every VPT.

     

    The effective date of agreement is 27th February, 2009.

     

     

    The validity of Agreement is 7 years from the effective date.

     

     

    The subsidy support under the Agreement shall be extended upto a maximum period of 5 (five) years  from the date the VPT is installed and made functional.

     

     

    The Universal Service Provider may change the location of VPTs to provide better access to the public within the geographical boundaries of the same village.  No payments for relocating the VPTs will be made from USOF on the expenditureincurred on relocation.

     

     

    The USP shall be solely responsible for provision and operation of necessary equipment and systems, treatment of subscriber complaints, collection of call charges and issue of receipt thereof, attending to claims and damages arising out of operations

     

     

    The USP shall work within the framework of the terms and conditions of the basic service license.

     

     F. Quality of Service Parameters (BB/VPTs /RCPs) 

    •  The Quality of Service Parameters for Basic Telecommunication Services as prescribed by TRAI shall prevail. 
    •   The Universal Service Provider shall ensure the Quality of Service (QoS) as prescribed by the TRAI from time to time.  The Universal Service Provider shall adhere to such QoS  standards and provide timely information as required therein. 
    •  The ADMINISTRATOR or TRAI may carry out performance tests either directly by themselves or through authorized agency and also evaluate the QoS parameters for the RDELs/RCPs/VPTs at any time during the validity period of the AGREEMENT. The Universal Service Provider shall provide ingress and other support including documents, instruments, equipments, equipment etc. for carrying out such performance tests and evaluation of Quality of Service Parameters. 
    •   The Universal Service Provider will keep a record of BB/RCPs/VPTs indicating faults and rectification reports and other related details in respect of the service rendered, which will be produced before the ADMINISTRATOR or TRAI as and when and in whatever from desired. 
    •  The Universal Service Provider shall be responsive to the complaints lodged by its customers.  They shall rectify the deficiencies and maintain the history sheets for each installation, statistics and analysis on the overall maintenance status. 
    •   Proper arrangement should be made by the USPs for reporting / booking faulty BB/RCPs/VPTs and its regular testing.  Print out of line tests of RCPs/VPTs and record of metered call units (MCUs) should be preserved by the Universal Service Provider for a period of at least six months or till the final settlement of subsidy claimed, whichever is later.

    6. CHECKLIST FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS WHILE SUBMITTING CLAIMS 


    Please refer to the Section on Salient features of various Agreements for specific      points to check.  Click here for salient Features 


         COMMON POINTS FOR ALL AGREEMENTS: 


    Please make sure that: 


    i.     Claim must be submitted within prescribed time frame. Subsidy disbursement is Quarterly in arrears and claims must be submitted within 30 days of the close of the Quarter. 
    ii.    Claim is in prescribed proforma and is complete in every respect. 
    iii.    Claim to be accompanied by affidavit in prescribed form. 
    iv.    Initials of Authorized representative on each page of claim. 
    v.     Consolidation Sheet and last page of claim statement must carry signature of the authorized representative with the company seal. 
    vi.     In addition to hard copy claims must also be submitted in CD with the signature of the authorized representative and seal of the company on the CD. 
    vii.    Claim must be accompanied by all the relevant documents as specified in Agreement. 
    viii.   Stamped pre-receipted bill to be given along with claim. 
    ix.      Representative rates used must be as per concerned Agreement. 
    x.      Name of SSA/SDCA should match with the list given in the agreement 
    xi.    Suffix 123 etc for more than one village in the same SSA with the same name. 
    xii.   For pro rata calculations take the of number of days in the quarters (90/91/92) 
    xiii.   Make sure that the consolidation sheet tallies with detailed claim statement. 
    xiv.   Add up each incidence of fault during the quarter. 
    xv.     Include both from and to dates in calculating the number of days of fault. 
    xvi.   Commencing Quarter ending 30.9.03 VPTs remaining DNP or registering no incremental meterreading during entire quarter, to be treated as faulty and subsidy not to be claimed in their case for that quarter. 
    xvii. Opening Balance of connections of present Quarter must tally with closing balance shown in consolidation sheet of previous Quarter. 
                                                                
    SPECIAL POINTS TO NOTE   FOR: 

    A. CLAIMS FOR PROVISION OF RURAL COMMUNITY PHONES 


    i.           Please submit a copy of the first bill in support of claim for RCPs 
    ii.       Claim should be only for list of Villages for provision of RCPs as approved by DOT 
    B.    CLAIMS FOR PROVISION OF RURAL Wireline Boradband.

      • The total number of connections eligible for subsidy will be 31 per exchange.
      • The total number of computer/computing devices eligible for subsidy will be 31 per exchange.
      • FLS claims can be submitted in the same quarter in which the connections are installed and made functional or in the subsequent quarter.
      • Since the subscriber shall have an option to have the broadband connection without computer/computing device there could be instances where net addition on account of connections will be different from that on account of computers/computing devices.
      • The name of the exchanges should match with the list of exchanges under this Agreement.
      • For individual/govt. institutional connections that remain faulty for more than 7 days in a quarter, the USP shall provide rebate against the charges for the connections as per TRAI regulations. In case no rebate is allowed by the USP subsidy shall be deducted for the full quarter in respect of such connections. No subsidy shall be disbursed for the connections that remain faulty for 45 days or more during the quarter.
      • For Kiosks remaining faulty for more than 7 days and less than 45 days in a quarter, pro rata EQA subsidy shall be deducted for the total number of days the kiosk remains faulty. No EQA subsidy shall be payable for faults of 45 days of more in a quarter.
      • Certificate of DGM(TR)/GM(TR) wherever required must be furnished.
      • Whenever EQA for a kiosk is claimed for the first time, first bill shall have to be submitted.
      • Attachment 1/6 is the Summary and claim statement for Front Loaded subsidy for Rural Wire line Broad band connections and Kiosks.
      • Attachment 2/6is the EQA claim statement for Govt. Institutional and Individual users.
      • Attachment 3/6is the EQA claim statement for Kiosks.
      • Attachment 4/6is the bill summary for new connections.
      • Attachment 5/6is the bill summary for closed connections.
      • Attachment 6/6is for calculation of net additions of connections with computers/computing devices.

                            
                                                                                                                              

      The Office of JCCA Jharkhand is not responsible for any typing errors on this page.


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