New Right of Way Rules announced by the government say that the telecom providers will not need permission from authorities to construct cables or install mobile towers or poles over private properties. In order to speed up the rollout of telecom networks, particularly 5G services, the government has announced rules for using power poles, foot over bridges, etc., for the installation of small mobile radio antennas or laying overhead telecom cables, along with fees.
Further Information Regarding this New Regulation
The notification dated August 17 stated that the licensee "must not require any approval from the appropriate authority when the licensee plans the development of overground telegraph infrastructure over any private property.” However, in accordance with the Indian Telegraph Right of Way (Amendment) Rules, 2022, telecom operators must notify the competent authority in writing before erecting a mobile tower or pole over a private building or structure.
Additionally, the telecom companies must include information about the building or structure where the installation of a mobile tower or pole is proposed in their notification to the relevant government authorities, as well as a copy of the structural engineer's certification attesting to the building or structure's structural safety and authorised by the relevant authority.
By amending the national building code and model building bylaws, the government intends to make the installation of telecom equipment within housing projects and other buildings mandatory.
The signals transmitted for the service will move at extremely fast speeds but span shorter distances; thus, telecom providers will need to set up 5G facilities closer to the ground. The access points for 5G must be closer to the devices than they were for 2G, 3G, and 4G.
According to the notification, telecom operators utilising street furniture for the installation of small cells must pay Rs 300 per year in urban areas and Rs 150 per year in rural regions per street furniture. Additionally, telecom providers would be obliged to pay Rs 100 annually for each piece of street furniture used for cable installation.