Are Telecom Universal Service Funds outdated?
Universal Service or Access Funds (which go by different names in different countries) are a mechanism by which a national regulatory authority mandates, oversees and/or coordinates a set of subsidies and fees designed to promote access to telecommunication services for all of a country's population.
17 May, 2017
Simplifying access to healthcare with connectivity
Access to quality healthcare is always a challenge in rural areas. Villagers rarely get the benefit of quality doctors and clinics and hospitals with modern facilities unless they travel long distances. Residents of Karenda, a modest village in Alwar, Rajasthan, faced exactly this situation until recently. Because the nearest hospital is 50 kms away, the sick and elderly in the village had to travel a long way to get medical treatment, thereby losing precious money and time.
10 May, 2017
The North-East gets a Voice
Ever since independence, the North-Eastern part of India has been neglected. Surrounded by foreign nations and connected to the mainland just by a thin land corridor, the Seven Sisters have lagged socio-economic development because of lack of infrastructure and connectivity. Plagued by difficult terrain including heavily forested areas and recurrent tribal insurgency, the sparse population in the North East has remained virtually isolated from the bigger world.
03 May, 2017
USFs - Passive funds or active instruments of social change?
Telecom USFs have been around in many countries, but are a relatively new construct in some others, especially in emerging nations. Whether examined scholastically or by practitioners on the ground, there has been much debate about whether USFs are a workable idea to extend connectivity to those sections of society that need it most.
30 Mar, 2017
Simplifying lives in Karenda with e-Governance
People living in urban areas are privileged, when it comes to accessing basic government services. Moreover, in the last few years, most of these services have been successfully ported online. Today, it is hard to imagine that one must travel 50 km for obtaining documents such as Aadhar cards, passports, or vehicle registration papers! Read VNL’s Position Paper on Digital Villages here.
23 Mar, 2017
Thank You World, says Karenda
Two years ago, nobody in Karenda, a modest village in Rajasthan, would have believed that one day ministers and dignitaries from the across the world would be visiting their tiny village. The transformation of Karenda has been such that it has become an inspiring stopover for people from the world’s telecom fraternity, many of who make it a point to visit the village to experience how VNL’s Digital Village solution functions, first-hand. Read VNL’s Position Paper on Digital Villages here.
27 Feb, 2017
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