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Working to bring down cost of telecom ops to attract more investments

The government is working to bring down the cost of telecom operations to attract more investments in the sector, a top official said on Friday.

While speaking at the CII Telecom Summit, telecom secretary K Rajaraman said the cost of maintaining optic fibre network is very forbidding.

“(If) we are able to bring down the cost of operations for the telecom network, I am sure that more investment will come. We will be working on that. A lot of policy measures are underway,” he said.

Rajaraman said the government is running a pilot of ‘Call before you dig’ application in some states to avoid damages to telecom infrastructure while digging roads and doing other infrastructure-related works.

He said that a good digital connectivity cannot rest on mobile service only and complimentary connectivity through fibre to support mobile services is very important.

“In urban areas, optical fibre is available. In rural areas, BharatNet has enabled us to reach 1.89 lakh villages so far. Target is to reach 2.2 lakh by the middle of next year for which the work is going,” Rajaraman said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to provide broadband connectivity in all six lakh villages in the country.

The work to connect 6 lakh villages is being separately carried out, Rajaraman said.

Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said that after merger of Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited with BSNL in October, BSNL has issued 55,000 optical fibre-based broadband connections.

The minister said the Department of Telecom has made processes faceless otherwise for licence renewal also industry had to run around.

“We have done this to provide the benefit of technology to people at the bottom of the pyramid,” Chauhan said. PTI

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