National Broadband Mission, an initiative by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), aims to accelerate fiber rollout in India and provide equal digital access to citizens living in rural parts. Under the mission, the government has been trying to boost the digital infrastructure in the country. However, there are multiple roadblocks to address. One of the biggest pain points for the infrastructure providers (IPs) and the telcos is the damage to fibre that's laid underground when the ground is dug. Most of the time, this happens because there's a lack of communication between the digging agencies and the owners of the underground assets. Thus, DoT is trying to solve this issue through a new mobile app.
DoT's New Call Before U Dig App
National Broadband Mission, under DoT, has launched a new 'Call Before U Dig' app. This mobile app is currently only available for Android users. With this app, the government aims to connect the digging agencies with the underground utility asset owners. Communication between both these parties is a crucial element of the digital India vision. The app currently has just 100+ downloads and was released on October 6, 2022. The app would make more impact in the rollout of fiber for 5G.
Because of communicating with this app, diggers can learn about underground assets like optical fiber cables, water pipelines, electric cables, and gas pipelines. Digging agencies would be able to require about the underground utility assets and also inform the owners of these assets about the upcoming digging activities. This would help both parties coordinate to save existing underlying utility assets from damage.
The IPs and the telcos have had to suffer a lot because of a lack of coordination with the digging agencies. Because of uncoordinated digging, underground infrastructure has been damaged regularly in different parts of the country. It results in a slowdown to the expansion of digital infrastructure and services, which further results in higher costs for the companies to maintain and operate the infra.