The Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) last week amended its agreement signed with Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited in March 2021 for provisioning of mobile services based on 4G technology. The provisioning of 4G based mobile services is to take place in identified uncovered villages and along National Highways in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The extension to the recently signed agreement has come on the back of COVID-19. “In pursuance of Clause 4.7 of the aforesaid Agreement dated 15.03.2021 (Modifications in Terms and Conditions of Agreement) and in view of the Force Majeure conditions due to COVID-19, the terms and conditions of the captioned Agreement are hereby amended to the extent as detailed,” said USOF in a note.
The USP was initially supposed to complete the field survey within three months of the date of signing of the agreement to finalized the requirement of infrastructure at sites which have now been increased to six months. The USP further had to commission and provide 4G based mobile services from all the infrastructure sites in Andaman & Nicobar within a period of 12 months from the date of signing of the agreement that has now been increased to 15 months.
The agreement that was initially supposed to remain valid for a period of 12 months (rollout period) plus 10 years from the date of singing of the agreement now remains valid for a period of 15 months (rollout period) plus 10 years from the date of signing of the agreement.
The USP was further initially supposed to be responsible for operation and maintenance of the created infrastructure and provision of specified services for a period of 12 months (rollout period) plus 10 years from the effective date of the agreement and also after the expiry of the Agreement period that has now been extended to 15 months (rollout period) plus 10 years from the effective date of the agreement.