Press Release

Tripartite MoU signed between USOF, Prasar Bharati and ONDC: Propelling the mandate for Digital Empowerment for Rural India

Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) under Department of Telecommunications (DoT), signed a tripartite MoU with Prasar Bharati (under the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting) and Open Network for Digital Commerce (a Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) initiative of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry) to proliferate affordable and accessible digital services across the country. The objective of the MoU is to bundle broadband services with OTT and e-commerce platform for the rural India riding on BharatNet infrastructure under the USOF.

USOF has been instrumental in enabling highspeed broadband and mobile connections across Gram Panchayats (GPs) and villages in the country. This MoU will enable the bundled Prasar Bharati OTT as a service, including linear channels, Live TV and on-demand content, among the end consumers while USOF will ensure efficient and highspeed broadband services in rural and remote areas. The national public service broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, with an unparallel legacy content, consumer reach and brand recall, will source and produce content that will run on its OTT platform. In addition, the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a leading player in digital infrastructure, will provide the technical expertise and necessary framework in enabling digital commerce in products & services. This will be expanded to cover more services like education, health, training, credit, insurance, agriculture amongst others.

The Hon’ble PM’s vision and Hon’ble MoC’s unwavering commitment to foster a conducive environment for digital innovation underpins this truly unique collaboration synergizing connectivity, content and commerce to empower the rural India.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Dr, Neeraj Mittal, Secretary (Telecom), Sh. Niraj Verma, Administrator, USOF, Sh. T. Koshy, MD & CEO, ONDC, Sh. A.K. Jha, ADG, Platforms, Prasar Bharati and Sh. Sunil Kumar Verma, Joint Secretary, DoT.

About ONDC

Incorporated on 31st December 2021, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a Section 8 company, is an initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce, Government of India to create a facilitative model that revolutionizes digital commerce, giving greater thrust to penetration of retail e-commerce in India. ONDC is not an application, platform, intermediary, or software but a set of specifications designed to foster open, unbundled, and interoperable open Networks.