Kapil Sibal Issues Progress Report on The 100 Days Plan of Action

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Kapil Sibal, Union Telecom Minister today issued the Progress Report of the Telecom Ministry in terms of achievements made against '100 Days Plan of Action'.

The 100 Day Action Plan was announced in Jan 2011, on various issues such as MNP, Wireless Broadband, 2G Spectrum Allocation, MTNL/BSNL and other PSUs, Mobile Tower Radiation and National Telecom Policy 2011 as earlier we shared on TelecomTalk.

The Point-wise Report Card on Plan of Action for DoT  announced by Telecom Minister,  as follows :

Action Point 1 : We will hold consultations with key stakeholders to evolve a clear and transparent regime covering licensing, spectrum allocation, tariffs/pricing, linkage with roll out performance, flexibility within licenses, spectrum sharing, spectrum trading, MVNOs, unlicensed bands, M&A, etc. in a technology agnostic environment after due consideration of TRAI recommendations in this regard. Interest of the ‘Aam Aadmi’ would be the prime consideration.

Status : The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) received Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations dated 8.2.2011 on spectrum pricing in continuation of the earlier TRAI recommendations dated 11.05.2010 on spectrum management and licensing framework. A Round Table Conference was held on 8.3.2011 by the Minister of Communications & IT with the key stakeholders on issues of licensing and spectrum. After the Round Table Conference, the verbatim of the discussions held was posted on website of DoT. The views expressed by the stakeholders during the Round Table Conference are being examined in DoT by the Internal Committee under the Chairmanship of Member (Technical) of the Telecom Commission.

Action Point 2 : To ensure availability of spectrum for telecom industry, we will initiate a dialogue with Department of Space/Information & Broadcasting/Defence, PSUs on vacation of spectrum and for identification of Defence Band and Defence Interest Zone. National Frequency Allocation Plan 2011 (NFAP) shall be released. Spectrum allocations, availability and status of pending applications for spectrum shall be published on the department’s web site.

Status : NA.

Action Point 3 : Immediate steps will be taken to resolve outstanding security issues. Steps will be taken to enable operators to launch 3G services in their entire plenitude without delay. Security issues regarding telecom equipment procurement, messenger services and subscriber verification will be resolved. Steps will be taken to establish the Central Monitoring System which will facilitate and prevent misuse of lawful interception facility.

Status : 3G Service launched by operators.

Action Point 4 : 11 years have passed since NTP ’99 and many changes have taken place thereafter. Action will be initiated to formulate a comprehensive Telecom Policy 2011 including the recognition of Telecom as infrastructure and as an essential service, encouraging Green Telecom, steps to accelerate migration from IPv4 to IPv6 at the earliest, release of IPv6 standards by Telecom Engineering Centre for implementation in the country, etc.

Status : DoT has already initiated the process to formulate a comprehensive National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2011. This will take into account the changes that have taken place in the industry since NTP 1999. A Committee has been constituted with Additional Secretary (T) and Advisor (T) as the co-chairman and DDGs as Members. Two rounds of the meetings have already taken place since then and eight teams have been constituted to work on specific areas.

Action Point 5 : All possible efforts will be made to fill up Board Level vacancies in PSUs and for greater participation of BSNL/ MTNL and C-DOT in national and socially important programmes, while addressing structural issues, improving internal efficiency and financial performance of BSNL/ MTNL.

Status : Close monitoring and follow up is being done to ensure filling up of board level vacancies in PSUs. Filling up the post of CMDs of BSNL and MTNL has been taken up on priority basis and will be finalised shortly. The post of Director (HR), BSNL and Director (F), ITI have been filled up. The proposal for non-official Directors in BSNL/MTNL/ITI/TCIL have also been drawn up. Both BSNL/MTNL have been given roadmap for improving their internal efficiency.The proposal of Director (F), TCIL and Director (HR), ITI are also in advanced stage.

Action Point 6 : Country-wide launch of Mobile Number Portability (MNP).

Status : The Prime Minister of India launched MNP on Pan India basis on January 20, 2011 in Delhi.

Action Point 7 : Vigorous measures will be taken to address public concerns about health hazards due to the EMF radiation from Mobile towers including laying down relevant standards, supplementing equipment with Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells and ensuring adequate field-testing.

Status :The report of the Inter-Ministerial Group on EMF radiations has been put up on the website of the Ministry for seeking comments. Feedback has been received which is being examined and will be finalised shortly.

Action Pint 8 : Formulation of a package of measures to promote manufacturing of telecom equipment in the country.

Status : TRAI has circulated a consultation paper on promotion of manufacturing of Telecom equipment in the country. After receiving the recommendations of TRAI in this respect, DoT will organise Round Table Conference with key stakeholders to formulate the package of measures for promoting manufacturing of Telecom Equipment. Sectoral Innovation Council has been set up under the Chairmanship of ED, C-DOT with participation from the Industry representatives to give impetus to innovations and R&D in telecom sector within the country.Certain initiatives taken by Department of Information Technology (DIT) in this regard are as follows:

Action Point 9 : Launch of a Wireless Broadband Scheme scheme by USOF to provide wireless broadband coverage to about 5 lakh villages, leveraging the existing passive infrastructure created for mobile telephony in rural and remote areas.

Status : The wireless broadband scheme for providing wireless broadband coverage to about five lakh villages leveraging the existing PSUs infrastructure has already been approved and will be launched shortly.

Action point 10 Concrete steps towards finalization of National Broadband Plan including strategy for implementation and initiation of steps for roll out of Optical Fibre

Status : After receiving the recommendation of TRAI on National Broadband Plan on 08.12.2011 as well as the report of the CII on broadband, the Round Table Conference was held by Hon’ble MOC&IT on 19.01.2011. Thereafter a scheme for creation of National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) for providing broadband connectivity to the panchayats by extending the existing optical fibre network to panchayats utilising the USO fund has been formulated.

This proposed scheme has also been deliberated by Hon’ble MOC&IT along with Shri Sam Pitroda, Adviser to PM on Public Information, Innovation and Infrastructure, on 30.03.2011 with key stakeholders including telecom service providers. Under this scheme it is proposed to set up a High Level Committee to steer and coordinate all the activities related to the creation and implementation of NOFN.

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