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CHAPTER 3: CONNECT INDIA - CREATING A ROBUST DIGITAL COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Details of the Section

  • a. Provide Universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen
  • b. Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022
  • c. Enable 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions; including all educational institutions
  • d. Enable fixed line broadband access to 50% of households
  • e. Achieve ‘unique mobile subscriber density’ of 55 by 2020 and 65 by 2022
  • f. Enable deployment of public Wi-Fi Hotspots; to reach 5 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022
  • g. Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

1.1 Establishing a ‘National Broadband Mission – Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan’ to secure universal broadband access

(a) Implementation of the following broadband initiatives, to be funded through USOF and Public Private Partnerships:

  • i. BharatNet – Providing 1 Gbps to Gram Panchayats upgradeable to 10 Gbps
  • ii. GramNet – Connecting all key rural development institutions with 10 Mbps upgradeable to 100 Mbps
  • iii. NagarNet – Establishing 1 Million public Wi-Fi Hotspots in urban areas
  • iv. JanWiFi – Establishing 2 Million Wi-Fi Hotspots in rural areas

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

(b) Implementing a ‘Fibre First Initiative’ to take fibre to the home, to enterprises and to key development institutions in Tier I, II and III towns and to rural clusters:

  • i. According Telecom Optic Fibre cables the status of Public utility
  • ii. Promoting collaboration models involving state, local bodies and private sector as necessary for provision of shared duct infrastructure in municipalities, rural areas and national highways
  • iii. Facilitating Fibre-to-the-tower programme to enable fiberisation of at least 60% base stations thereby accelerating migration to 4G/5G
  • iv. Leveraging existing assets of the broadcasting and power sector to improve connectivity, affordability and sustainability
  • v. Incentivising and promoting fibre connectivity for all new developmental construction
  • vi. By making requirement for telecom installations and the associated cabling and in-building solutions mandatory in in all commercial, residential and office spaces by amending National Building Code of India (NBC), through Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)

(c) Establishment of a National Digital Grid by:

  • i. Creating National Fibre Authority
  • ii. Establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects, and related elements
  • iii. Creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardisation of costs and timelines; and removal of barriers to approvals
  • iv. Facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks

Submission Closed

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(d) Facilitate the establishment of Mobile Tower Infrastructure by:

  • i. Extending incentives and exemptions for the construction of telecom towers
  • ii. According accelerated Rights of Way permissions for telecom towers in government premises
  • iii. Promoting deployment of solar and green energy for telecom towers

(e) Improve international connectivity and reduce the cost of international bandwidth by facilitating setting up of International Cable Landing Stations by rationalising access charges and removing regulatory hurdles

  • i. Encourage sharing of active infrastructure by enhancing the scope of Infrastructure Providers (IP) and promoting deployment of common sharable, passive as well as active, infrastructure;

Submission Closed

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(f) Enabling Infrastructure Convergence of IT, telecom and broadcasting sectors:

  • i. Amending the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and other relevant acts for the purpose of convergence in coordination with respective ministries
  • ii. Establishing a unified policy framework and spectrum management regime for broadcast and broadband technologies
  • iii. Restructuring of legal, licensing and regulatory frameworks for reaping the benefits of convergence

(g) Creating a Broadband Readiness Index for States/ UTs to attract investments and address RoW challenges

(h) Encouraging investment in broadband infrastructure through fiscal incentives, including accelerated depreciation and tax incentives; and incentivizing fixed line broadband

(i) By encouraging innovative approaches to infrastructure creation and access including through resale and Virtual Network Operators (VNO)

(j) Promoting broadband connectivity through innovative and alternative technologies

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

1.2 Recognizing Spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefit to achieve India’s socio-economic goals, optimise availability and utilisation by:

(a) Making adequate spectrum available to be equipped for the new broadband era:

  • i. Identifying and making available new Spectrum bands for Access and Backhaul segments for timely deployment and growth of 5G networks.
  • ii. Making available harmonized and contiguous spectrum required for deployment of next generation access technologies
  • iii. Further liberalizing the spectrum sharing, leasing and trading regime
  • iv. Coordinating with Government departments for freeing underutilised/ substitutable spectrum, and its auctioning and/ or assignment along with unutilised spectrum for efficient and productive use
  • v. Optimal Pricing of Spectrum to ensure sustainable and affordable access to Digital Communications
  • vi. Simplifying the process of obtaining permissions from various agencies such as WPC and SACFA in order to promote efficiency
  • vii. Enabling Light Touch licensing/ de-licensing for broadband proliferation
  • viii. Promoting the co-use/ secondary use of spectrum
  • ix. Constituting a Spectrum Advisory Team (SAT) consisting of experts, industry and academia to facilitate the identification of new bands, applications and efficiency measures to catalyse innovation and efficient spectrum management

(b) Transparent and fair mode of spectrum allocation by developing a fair, flexible, simple and transparent method for spectrum assignments and allocations

(c) Efficient spectrum utilisation and management:

  • i. Ensuring the optimum utilisation of spectrum by management of interference free spectrum and encouraging new technologies and consolidation
  • ii. Monitoring efficient utilization of spectrum by conducting systematic audits of the spectrum allocated to both commercial and government organizations and deploy dynamic database systems for interference assessment
  • iii. Publishing annual spectrum utilization and availability roadmap for communication needs including those of aircraft and vessels

(d) Promoting Next Generation Access Technologies in India through the following actions:

  • i. Encouraging licensed service providers to utilise next generation access technologies to ensure cost optimization, service agility and new revenue streams
  • ii. Recognising mid-band spectrum, particularly the 3 GHz to 24 GHz range, as central to India’s strategy for Next-Generation Networks
  • iii. Promoting the effective utilisation of high capacity backhaul E-band (71-76/ 81-86 GHz) and V-band (57-64 MHz) spectrum in line with international best practices
  • iv. Rationalizing annual royalty charges for microwave links for backhaul connectivity

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

1.3 Strengthening Satellite Communication Technologies in India

(a) Review the regulatory regime for satellite communication technologies, including:

  • i. Revising licensing and regulatory conditions that limit the use of satellite communications, such as speed barriers, band allocation, etc.
  • ii. Simplifying compliance requirements for VSAT operators to ensure faster roll out
  • iii. Expanding scope of permissible services under the Unified Licensing regime using High Throughput Satellite communication systems

(b) Optimise Satellite communications technologies in India, by:

  • i. Reviewing SATCOM policy for communication services, along with Department of Space, keeping in view international developments and social and economic needs of the country
  • ii. Making available additional transponders and new spectrum bands (such as Ka band) for satellite-based commercial communication services
  • iii. Rationalizing satellite transponder, spectrum charges and charges payable to WPC
  • iv. Assessing the bandwidth demands across various spectrum bands used for satellite communications, in consultation with stakeholders
  • v. Prioritising international engagement with ITU on spectrum management issues, specifically with respect to satellite communications in India

(c) Develop an ecosystem for satellite communications in India, with focus on:

  • i. Streamlining administrative processes for assignment and allocations, clearances and permissions related to satellite communication systems
  • ii. Promoting local manufacturing and development of satellite communications related infrastructure through appropriate policies
  • iii. Promoting participation of private players, with due regard to national security and sovereignty

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

1.4 Ensuring Inclusion of uncovered areas and digitally deprived segments of society by:

(a) Channelizing the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) for:

  • i. Ensuring connectivity for all uncovered areas in the North Eastern States, Himalayan region, LWE areas, Islands and Border Areas
  • ii. Marginalised communities, women and persons with differential capabilities,; and for economically and socially weaker sections in urban pockets
  • iii. Promoting innovative, effective and scalable alternate technologies for remote areas
  • iv. Enabling access provision by any entity capable of fulfilling the Universal Service Obligation

(b) Reviewing the scope and modalities of USOF:

  • i. Redesigning the USOF and broadening its objectives to enable universal broadband access
  • ii. Strengthening institutional capacity of USOF to ensure effective rollout of services in uncovered, remote and rural areas

Submission Closed

Details of the Section

1.5 Ensuring Customer Satisfaction, Quality of Service and effective Grievance Redressal

(a) Establishing effective institutional mechanisms to protect consumers’ interests including:

  • i. Telecom Ombudsman
  • ii. A centralised web based complaint redressal system

(b) Focussing on public health and safety standards to promote the well-being of citizens:

  • i. Framing a comprehensive policy to encourage the adoption of environmental and safety standards and building trust by enabling self-certification
  • ii. Generating awareness around Electro Magnetic Fields Emissions based on international experience and global best practices
  • iii. Generating awareness on hazards of e-waste and encouraging proper disposal management of equipment used

Submission Closed

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(c) Incentivising the use of renewable energy technologies in the communications sector, including:

  • i. Encouraging the utilisation of small cell fuel batteries, lithium-ion batteries or other similar technologies to improve energy consumption efficiencies
  • ii. Promoting research and development of green telecom through active participation of stakeholders across government, industry and academia
  • iii. Rationalising of taxes and levies on the manufacture, production and import of such equipment for digital communication technologies

Submission Closed

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