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Telecom Policy Could Attract $100 Bn Investment By 2022

The policy, awaiting Cabinet approval, favours the rationalisation of spectrum charges, and pitches for net neutrality and increased broadband speed.

The new telecom policy, which favours the rationalisation of spectrum charges, and pitches for net neutrality and increased broadband speed, is likely to be approved by the Union cabinet on Wednesday.

“The draft NDCP (National Digital Communications Policy 2018) is expected to be part of the cabinet agenda and is likely to be approved,” officials said.

The policy, which could attract $100 billion investments by 2022, focuses on providing broadband for all, creating four million additional jobs and increasing the contribution of the sector to 8 per cent of GDP from around 6 per cent in 2017. It also pitches for net neutrality by backing the principles of a free and open internet and rationalisation of spectrum charges.

Officials said other points that were considered were a series of recommendations based on demands by telcos for reduction in government levies on the sector and spectrum prices.

At present, levies form about 30 per cent of revenues earned by telecom firms. It proposes to adopt “optimal pricing of spectrum” to ensure sustainable and affordable access to digital communications.

The NTP has to address issues related to internet of things as with India’s smart city move the number of devices linked to internet will also increase manifold.

“Security considerations will also grow, especially in view of cyber attacks globally which have been traced to or are suspected of being launched by one or the other nation,” officials said.

It plans to make India one of the top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of the International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017, enhancing India’s contribution to global value chains and ensuring digital sovereignty.

Meanwhile, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that the government was keen on facilitating the rollout of 5G services in India on a par with global standards in 2020, which will play a key role in harnessing new emerging technologies. – Telegraph India

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