BIF submits recommendations for new Government’s 100-day plan

Broadband India Forum (BIF) has submitted recommendations for the new government’s 100-day action plan.

Aruna Sundararajan
Aruna Sundararajan BIF

These recommendations cover critical areas such as spectrum policy, digital economy growth, OTT regulation, online gaming, satellite communications, and more. The suggestions have been presented to various ministries, including the Department of Telecommunications, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and others.

Key Recommendations Overview:

Spectrum Policy: BIF advocates for differentiated approaches for satellite and terrestrial spectrum assignments to maximize economic efficiency and public good. They emphasize using spectrum to fuel innovation and economic prosperity across various sectors and suggest creating a nodal entity for transparent spectrum trading.

Delicensed 6GHz Wi-Fi Spectrum: BIF recommends allocating the entire 6GHz band for license-exempt uses, supporting modern Wi-Fi technologies and short-range devices in healthcare, education, and other sectors.

5G for Private Enterprises: BIF calls for the direct allotment of 5G spectrum to private enterprises at nominal costs to enhance productivity and global competitiveness.

Digital Economy: BIF urges broad multi-stakeholder consultations before finalizing rules for recently enacted acts and revising the Draft Digital Competition Bill. They also suggest engaging various sectors to finalize India’s AI Framework.

OTT Regulation: BIF proposes distinct regulatory approaches for OTT applications, continuing to regulate them under the IT Act and rules of MeitY.

Broadcasting: Recommendations include creating a framework for private DTH players, introducing bold reforms in the DTH industry, and considering technology-neutral solutions for D2M.

Gaming: BIF emphasizes the importance of a regulatory framework to boost the gaming industry, prevent security risks, and provide legal clarity on online gaming.

Satellite Communications (Satcom): BIF suggests provisional spectrum allocations pending final Telecom Act 2023 rules, uniform Spectrum Usage Charges, and exemptions from USOF charges for Satcom services.

Manufacturing – Networks & Devices: Recommendations include extending IT PLI guidelines for Telecom PLI, tweaking PMI policy, and increasing investment in the electronic components supply chain.

Broadband Infrastructure: BIF calls for policies to boost FTTX connectivity, create a new category of infrastructure providers, and promote public Wi-Fi as critical national infrastructure.

Cyber Security: Suggestions include notifying the National Cybersecurity Policy, creating national training facilities, and establishing a single window for cyber threat updates and complaints.

Accessibility & Inclusivity: BIF recommends implementing IS 17802 accessibility standards for public procurements, making government apps accessible, providing online training, and enhancing accessibility in health and education sectors.

Aruna Sundararajan, Chairperson of BIF, stated, “The 100-day plan should focus on accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability to ensure that the benefits of technology reach all citizens of India equally and quickly.”

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