India’s new telecom policy 2018 gets okay from Telecom Commission

India’s Telecom Commission has approved the National Digital Communications Policy – 2018 and Net Neutrality guidelines recommended by TRAI.

“The Telecom Commission (TC) also approved net neutrality as recommended by TRAI expect some critical services will be kept out of its purview,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters.

Telecom policy 2018 targets for 2022

# $100 billion investment in Indian telecom sector
# Universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen
# 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022
# 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions including educational institutions
# Fixed line broadband access to 50% of households
# Unique mobile subscriber density of 55 by 2020 and 65 by 2022
# Aims 5 million public Wi-Fi Hotspots by 2020 and 10 million by 2022
# Connectivity to all uncovered areas

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The recommendations on National Digital Communications Policy -2018 and Net Neutrality will now be submitted for the Government approval.

Objectives of National Digital Communications Policy by 2022

# Broadband for all
# 4 million additional jobs in the digital communications sector
# Digital communications to chip in 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017
# India aims top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017
# Enhance India’s contribution to global value chains
# Ensure digital sovereignty

COAI, a telecom industry association for GSM operators, has welcomed the approval of the NDCP 2018, as it is a forward-looking policy that promises to usher India into a new era of digital communications.

The new telecom policy with the aim of creating new jobs and inviting investments worth $100 billion by 2022 now awaits the final approval from the cabinet.

COAI has observed concerns about the Net Neutrality recommendations. COAI said it has already expressed our support on issues pertaining to non-discriminatory use of the Internet, including no blocking, no throttling and adoption of same service-same rules.

“We urged the Government to review industry practices with respect to traffic prioritisation to foster 5G-enabled applications and eco-system in India. We hope that the Cabinet will consider the concerns raised by the industry,” said Rajan S Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India.

COAI represents telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, among others.

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