In tune with the changing times, the government has renamed the New Telecom Policy (NTP) to National Digital Communications Policy – 2018. The draft policy, which has been called the NTP for more than three decades, was made public late Tuesday night with a new name. It reflects that communications, at the national level, is not limited to only telephony but also to data that leverages next generation of technology.
All stakeholders have been invited can give their feedback. The policy aims to provide 40 lakh new jobs by 2022 and attract an investment of $100 billion. The policy also aims to ensure broadband coverage of 50 mbps for every citizen.
The draft also proposes to address woes of debt-ridden telecom sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, universal service obligation fund levy – all of which add to cost of Telecom Services.
The contribution of the digital communications sector in India’s GDP will be enhanced to 8 per cent from about 6 per cent in 2017, said the draft.
Highlights of the draft policy
- Aims to provide fixed line broadband access to 50 per cent households in the country and start Landline Portability Services.
- Universal broadband coverage at 50 mbps to every citizen,1 gbps connectivity to all gram panchayats by 2020 and 10 gbps by 2022.
- Adoption of ‘Optimal Pricing of Spectrum’ to ensure sustainable and affordable access to Digital Communications.
- Recognition of mid-band spectrum, particularly the 3 GHz to 24 GHz range, for next-generation networks.
- Roadmap for in-demand backhaul spectrum for transmitting signals between mobile towers in E and V band as per international best practices.
- Aims to remove regulatory barriers and reduce the regulatory burden that hampers investments, innovation and consumer interest.
- Rationalise taxes and levies on Digital Communications equipment, infrastructure and services.