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Covid-19: DoT Asks States To Designate Nodal Officers To Ensure Hitch-Free Services

In order to keep critical telecom networks and infrastructure up and running, the Department of Telecommunications, has asked States to designate a nodal officer who can be contacted by telecom operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), in case of difficulties.

Telecom infrastructure is critical for maintaining communication, use of broadband and Internet services, encouraging e-commerce and facilitating work from home during the period of restrictions. This infrastructure includes telephone exchanges, mobile switching centres, network operation centres (NOCs), transmission centres, data centres, telecom towers, call centres and warehouses were maintenance spares are stored, DoT Secretary Anshu Prakash said in a letter.

“You are requested to designate a nodal officer, whose co-ordinates including name and telephone numbers, etc, may be shared with us and who can be contacted by any of the telecom service providers, ISPs, telecom licensees in the event of any difficulty,” the letter, sent to chief secretaries of all States and advisors to administrators of Union Territories, said.

There have been reports of the local authorities asking telecom service providers at NOCs and call centres to shut down operations in view of the restrictions. Hence, it is necessary that instructions reach the field-level to permit personnel maintaining and providing telecom services, to continue their work without interruption, it added.

Earlier on Saturday, the DoT wrote to chief secretaries of all states, urging them to allow movement of field staff of telecom companies and infrastructure providers, and give other permissions to ensure uninterrupted operation of critical communications networks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

—Hindu Business Line

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