The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday issued a consultation paper to seek from all stakeholders on the new telecom policy (NTP). The NTP is being formulated by the Department of Telecom (DoT) department. The Department of Telecommunications, through its letter dated August 21, 2017, requested the regulator to suggest its policy inputs for the formulation of National Telecom Policy- 2018.
Based on preliminary discussions with various stakeholders including telecom service providers, telecom equipment manufacturers, industry associations, consulting firms, cloud service providers, the regulator has prepared inputs for formulating the National Telecom Policy- 2018 in line with the technological advancements in the sector and customer aspirations for digital services.
The Trai said that written comments on the consultation paper could be sent by the stakeholders by January 19, 2018.
The paper has been issued after DoT sent Trai a reference to give their views in August last year, after which the regulator formed internal working groups and outlined the broad contours of the contents of the policy. The paper now seeks to assemble the views and any counter views, and submit to the government.
"National Telecom Policy-2018 can have twin goals viz. facilitate the development of communication infrastructure and services to achieve inclusive socio-economic growth in the country. And to propel India to become the front-runner in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This policy would set the mission and objectives to be accomplished by the end of the calendar year 2022 when India will be celebrating its 75 years of independence," the regulator said,
The Trai also underlined that the policy would also specify the strategies to accomplish such objectives as well as capacity building in general.
The regulator, through the consultation paper, has set out the mission and objectives for the NTP besides outlining common strategies to help India leapfrog to amongst top-50 nations in international rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems and services, and to attract an investment of $100 billion in the telecommunication sector.
The aim of the government through the new policy would be to attain average speed of 20 Mbps for wireless and 50 Mbps for wireline internet connectivity, full rural teledensity, enabling access for wireline broadband services to 50% households in the country, enabling access for high-quality wireless broadband services at affordable prices to 90% population.
Besides, the aim would be to develop 10 million public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country and to achieve 900 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 2 Mbps, out of that at least 150 million broadband connections at a minimum download speed of 20 Mbps.