Indian Telcos Say Laying Cable and Repair Should be Termed Critical Service

Bharti Airtel, in its submission, said that there needs to be criteria for allowing a licensed international long-distance operator (ILDO)/internet service provider (ISP) to set up a CLS. Vodafone Idea said that currently, there are multiple windows and clearances required, which cause delays and also result in increased costs for the project. Thus, a faster approval process needs to come in place. 

Highlights

  • Indian telecom operators have asked the government to recognise the laying of cables and their repair as critical and essential services.
  • Telecom operators have suggested that the current cable landing stations (CLS) framework should be amended so that the process of approvals can be streamlined to ensure that it happens quickly.
  • This suggestion from the telcos comes in response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI's) consultation paper on the Licensing Framework and Regulatory Mechanism for Submarine Cable Landing in India. 

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Telcos

Indian telecom operators have asked the government to recognise the laying of cables and their repair as critical and essential services. Accordingly, the telcos want the government to give fast approvals/permits/clearances to requests/applications associated with cable laying and repair. Telecom operators have suggested that the current cable landing stations (CLS) framework should be amended so that the process of approvals can be streamlined to ensure that it happens quickly. This suggestion from the telcos comes in response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI's) consultation paper on the Licensing Framework and Regulatory Mechanism for Submarine Cable Landing in India.




To recall, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sought views from the sector regulator on the licensing framework and regulatory mechanism for submarine cable landing in India.

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According to an ET report, in its submission, Reliance Jio said that the CLS and associated activities should be granted 'Critical & Essential Services' certification to fast-track the approvals. The telco said that it will help in boosting the submarine data cable infrastructure and will considerably enhance international connectivity and, consequently Indian economy.

Bharti Airtel, in its submission, said that there needs to be criteria for allowing a licensed international long-distance operator (ILDO)/internet service provider (ISP) to set up a CLS. Vodafone Idea said that currently, there are multiple windows and clearances required, which cause delays and also result in increased costs for the project. Thus, a faster approval process needs to come in place.

It is worth noting that Jio is here recommending that there should be no ownership criteria to apply for CLS. But Airtel is advocating exactly the opposite of this. Airtel said that The criteria should include minimum net worth and holding a minimum equity percentage (i.e. 10% stake or investment), either directly or indirectly, in the proposed submarine cable/consortium.

Reported By

Tanuja is a passionate technology and telecom buff who has been following the telecom industry for several years now.

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