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Myanmar starts universal service fund

Myanmar will collect tax on telecoms operators to extend the telecoms network to remote areas of the country, reports the Myanmar Times. “The Telecommunications Law, section 54, states that the ministry can establish and supervise a universal service fund to fulfil basic telecoms services in the public interest in any location by implementing universal service plans.” Deputy director general U Myo Swe of the Department of Post and Telecommunication said that it expects to start the fund in June. “We’ll collect 2% of the income of the operators,” he added. The department drafted the universal service strategy with the help of a consultant hired by the World Bank and sought public comment on the plan in February. “The current network covers over 90% of Myanmar’s population. But for those areas that cannot get access, network towers will be built with the universal service fund,” said U Myo Swe.  “Other telecommunications services will be available once the basic infrastructure is built.” The ministry will target 94% communication coverage for the population by the first quarter of 2019, according to state media, and a further increase to 99% through the universal service fund. Read more

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

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