The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has framed the Right of Way (RoW) guidelines and is now preparing to come up with a policy soon to facilitate quicker acquisition of land for setting up mobile towers and laying fibre. The move will help the telecom sector to build telecom infrastructure faster.
The telecom department is currently undertaking a number of policy-related reforms, including the RoW policy, before it begins working on the new telecom policy from April next year. The DoT is planning to start work on the new telecom policy from 2017 to facilitate growth of the sector and meet requirements of next generation technologies.
RoW has one of the major issues of contention between service providers and the authorities due to lack of clarity on the standards. The new policy will provide clarity on the standards that will provide a solution to the long pending demand of the telecom sector. The sector has often blamed the local authorities for creating hurdles in the roll out of telecom infrastructure, especially in granting RoW permission, leading to poor quality of service and data connectivity in areas where required.
Speaking at an industry event, Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said, "We have finalised Right of Way guidelines. It will be notified either today or tomorrow."
Reports suggest that new guidelines propose that a RoW permit would have to be granted within 60 days of application. In case of rejection, a reason would have to be given in writing. The telecom department has also proposed that authorities concerned should not impose any fee, charge, lease rental, or licence fee other than the expense that they incur as a consequence of the proposed work.