Centre tells BSNL to boost coverage in NE states

To ensure better telephony coverage in north-eastern states, the Centre has asked Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to create communication infrastructure in these areas.

In an inter-departmental communique, the Home Ministry cited usage of signals from neighbouring Myanmar by people living in certain areas of the north-east and has agreed to provide all necessary help in terms of coordination with state governments to facilitate creation of infrastructure.

"Lack of adequate cellular coverage in the region has brought a sense of discontentment amongst the youth and general public who despite having means are deprived of benefits of modern means of communication,” the communique said.

"It has also been observed that certain sections of society utilise the spillover signals from Myanmar Telephone Service Providers in the border areas. As reach of these signals is limited, the communication in the region remains inadequate," it said.

Mobile telephony coverage in the north eastern region of the country has been deficient due to limited presence of Indian telephone service providers. An analysis of region reveals that there are communication voids in the areas along Indo-Myanmar international border, especially in the southern Arunachal Pradesh, south-eastern Nagaland, west and southern Manipur and southern Mizoram.

"It is suggested that BSNL may be asked to create communication infrastructure in the form of towers in the border areas and the funds available under Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) can be utilised for creation of infrastructure in this region," the communique said.

There are eight north eastern states–Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Sikkim. 


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