Union Government releases draft of new Telecom policy
The Union Government on May 1, 2018 released the draft of a new Telecom policy - National Digital Communications Policy, 2018.
The policy aims to provide broadband coverage with 50 Mbps speed to every citizen, attract USD 100 billion investment in the sector and create 40 lakh new jobs by 2022.
• The new telecom policy draft aims to ensure universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen.
• It proposes to provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.
• It also proposes to address the woes of the Telecom sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, and universal service obligation fund levy for enhancing ease of doing business in the sector.
• It also proposes goal to attract investments worth USD 100 billion in the digital communications sector by 2022.
• It also aims to enhance the contribution of digital communications space to 8 per cent of the country's GDP from about 6 per cent last year.
Further, the policy recognises the importance of continued improvement in the regulatory framework for attracting investments and ensuring fair competition, to serve the needs of the people. It aims to attract long-term, high quality and sustainable investments, given the sector's capital-intensive nature.
• The policy also aims to pursue regulatory reforms to ensure that the regulatory structures and processes remain relevant, transparent, accountable and forward-looking.
• Additionally, it aims to remove regulatory barriers and reduce the regulatory burden that hampers investments, innovation and consumer interest.
• 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, under the new policy for enhancing ease of doing business in the sector.
• The policy also proposes to rationalise taxes and levies on digital communications equipment, infrastructure and services.