Regulators

Spectrum payment limit eased, NTP to facilitate data and security

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MUMBAI: The Telecom Commission has approved the extension of time period for the payment of spectrum bought in auctions by telcos to 16 years from the existing 10 years. This may ease out stress from the industry laden with around Rs 4500 billion debt.

The Telecom Commission also cleared path for formulating a draft of new National Telecom Policy (NTP) by according its approval. The NTP will focus on affordable and good quality of service, consumer protection, data and cyber security etc, a government source told PTI.

The draft of the policy may be sent to the union cabinet by January, and its approval could come by March, the source added. NTP's guiding principal will be a vision as per the 'Digital India' programme, and telecom will act as the enabler.

The commission also approved recommendation of the inter-ministerial group (IMG) -- responsible for finding a solution to the financial difficulties of the telecom sector -- to lower interest rate charged over penalties imposed on service providers with slight modification, the source said.

The IMG has given approval to grant Rs 12.3 billion to the Telangana government for rolling out the second phase of Bharat Net (along with its Mission Bhagiratha).

The IMG also okayed TRAI's recommendation to mandate that every building plan should have duct for telecom cable and the completion certificate be given only if it has been incorporated.

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