Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which is the leading representative body for the Indian telecommunications industry, has shown appreciation for the notification of the RoW Policy on Urban Municipal Corporation by the Government of Karnataka. The new bylaws will be applicable to all city areas, Municipal Councils, Town Municipal Councils, Town Panchayats and areas under the Jurisdiction of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). The policy includes telecom towers as well as aerial and underground Optical Fibre Cable (OFC).
The Need of the RoW Policy
The RoW policy issues guidelines which mandate a one-time fee to meet administrative expenses for the installation of Telecom Tower & Aerial OFC deployment, which is set at Rs 10,000 per Application (Tower & Aerial OFC), whereas for the deployment of Optical fibre, the one-time fee will be Rs 1,000 per KM OFC (underground) and for the deployment of Cell on Wheel (CoW) (Micro Site/Small Cell, IBS) it will be Rs 2,000 per application. The policy helps in enhancing the digital connectivity across Urban Municipal Corporation and other areas of Karnataka with the deployment of Tower, Underground OFC, Aerial OFC, CoW, Micro Site, Small Cell, IBS and more.
This RoW policy is necessary to expand the broadband connectivity pan-India in order to provide internet & broadband services to the citizens as well as improve connectivity & capacity. This will result in an enhanced quality of the mobile services and ultimately help in forming a robust Telecom/Digital Infrastructure in the State. The Director-General of COAI, Lt. Gen. Dr SP Kochhar, said in a statement that COAI is thankful to the Karnataka government for notifying RoW Policy on Urban Municipal Corporation. He further urged the government to commence implementation of the same at all levels. He said that this would help in the speedy roll-out of telecom infrastructure while boosting the direct and indirect jobs associated with the roll-out of telecom infrastructure across the State.
One cannot deny the need for the telecom industry in today’s time. Telecom services are a public utility and are crucial for providing a robust network of mobile towers to boost connectivity and improve the overall socio-economic development of the country. To make the country more digitally advanced, it is necessary to develop a robust and secure state-of-the-art telecommunication network providing seamless coverage. Telecom services were a boon during the unprecedented events that took place with the widespread pandemic and the country going into lockdown. It is necessary to have a sturdy telecom industry with a robust network of mobile towers ensuring enhanced connectivity and bridging the gap of the digital divide in the country.