DoT Secy asks field units to step up RoW nod for speedy broadband rollout

DoT Secy asks field units to step up RoW nod for speedy broadband rollout
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16 Dec, 2021

Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman has asked field units to expedite the right of way (RoW) approvals for telecom service providers so as to enhance the pace of broadband rollout across the country.   

During a meeting with state IT secretaries and DoT officers from head office and field units held by Rajaraman on Thursday to expedite approvals for quick rollout of broadband across country, field units were directed to conduct monthly meetings with Service Providers to review application approval process and pendency.   

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“There should be no delay in grant of right of way permissions as it can become a major impediment in growth of communication services,” the secretary said according to a statement issued by the ministry of communications.   

“He stated that there is a direct correlation between low broadband penetration and non alignment of RoW rules in the same state/license service area. The problem could be exacerbated in light of planned 5G rollout in near future,” he said.    

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Rajaraman consequently directed all DoT field units to conduct monthly meetings with carriers to review application approval process and pendency and also pursue with the state or municipal authorities.   

DoT has also decided to review the status of grant of such approvals at regular intervals with participation of industry associations including the Cellular Operators Association of India and Digital Infrastructure Providers Association among others.  

It has also appealed to state governments to expedite RoW application approval process in accordance with the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016.  

Secretaries and heads of department of state governments were also requested to facilitate speedy disposal of RoW applications in their respective states.  

State broadband committees were also requested for their intervention for alignment of the state policy with central RoW rules issued in 2016.   

“For quick rollout of broadband across the country it is necessary that the telecom and infrastructure companies are able to lay optical fibre cables and install new towers; which is possible only if State governments and local bodies provide necessary RoW approvals promptly,” the secretary added, as per the statement.  

The telecom department has taken various initiatives for ease of doing business and to increase the penetration of broadband internet to ease the lives of citizens by coming out with new policies like National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) and implementation of the National Broadband Mission which is expected to catapult India to the next phase of digital revolution thereby enabling inclusive participation of all citizens to create a truly digital society.   

Outcomes of National Broadband Mission envisages fulfilling the vision of “Broadband for All’ and fulfill the goals of the NDCP 2018, Digital India Programme and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.