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Digital comm policy success depends on implementation: TAIPA

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MUMBAI: The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has commented on the government’s proposed telecom policy by saying that though it addresses issues of all players, the growth of the sector will depend on its effective implementation.

"It (telecom policy) is the first right step but the most critical part will be the on-ground implementation and alignment of state governments with central government's rulings and guidelines," TAIPA director general TR Dua told PTI.

Despite the government notifying ‘right of way’ (RoW) rules, that mandate norms for rolling out telecom infrastructure, mobile tower firms (and telecom infrastructure companies) face challenges. The draft National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has proposed a broadband readiness index for states and union territories so that they can get investments and handle RoW issues. 

"The Indian telecom tower industry has been struggling through a number of critical issues such as non-inclusion of IP-1s under RoW rules, November 2016, state tower policies not aligned with RoW rules," Dua said adding that state government and local bodies command high and several types of fees after which authorities take them under coercive action and shut down towers. 

"In the last one year period ended December 2017, the tower industry could install only 21,000 mobile towers when it could have erected many more had the challenges were addressed. Today, the mobile tower count stands at 4,61,000 across the nation," Dua said.

A week ago, the government announced the new policy replacing the earlier suggested National Telecom Policy by bringing the information technology, telecom and I&B departments under one umbrella. It does not suggest making the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India as the converged regulator.

Also Read :

Comment: India's NTP 2018 gets digital makeover but needs complimentary policies

Telecom policy likely to be rolled out in June 

DoT addresses broadband issues in policy out for public consultation

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