Ministry of Communications Issues Draft for National Digital Communications Policy 2018

CIOREVEIW TEAM | Friday, 11 May 2018, 12:24 IST

digital communicationThe Ministry of Communications has proposed a National Digital Communication Policy 2018 draft with the hope of bringing India to same the level with the digitalized competitive world. It will be commenced in June. The main focus of the draft is to acclimatize the citizens of India to the latest digital technologies. To accomplish it, the government will be providing broadband connections to all the citizens and Gram Panchayats of villages at the speed of 50 Mbps and 1 Gbps respectively. It is expected to create 40 Lakh jobs for the skilled workers in the digital communications sector in the coming years.

Currently, India is having a network of Optical fiber cable of 1.5 million kilometers and less than one-fourth of the towers are connected with fibers. In order to increase broadband connectivity to every village’s Gram Panchayat at an average speed of 1GBps, the draft proposes to utilize the technology and opportunities of the Next-generation networks such as satellite communication. The Indian government is preparing to adopt new technologies like 5G, Cloud, IoT and data analytics, to get ahead of the time. According to the drafted policy, the government will set up 5 Billion connected IoT devices all over India by 2022 and to handle the data consumption generated by the IoT devices, one million skilled workers will be trained and re-skilled by the ministry of communications so that they can be familiar with the technologies.

There have been some changes in the draft policy regarding the taxes, license fees, spectrum usage charges and the universal service obligations fund, GST, to lure the investors from all over the world. The goal is to achieve the total investment of about $100 billion by the end of 2022. The investment is required to facilitate the next generation technologies or digital communications network. The Draft also contains the clauses regarding the safety, sovereignty, and security of digital communications.

India first drafted the policy in 1994; since then it has opened the gate for the investors in India. After that, the government has changed the policy twice-1999 and 2012, with a different broadband policy developed in 2004. Due to the changes in policy in 1999, the telecom sector got the opportunity to scale up its number of subscribers by cutting the call rate to its lowest in the world and the same is going to happen with 2018 policy, as it will boost the data consumption and the adoption of digital technologies including 5G, AI, IoT, Cloud and Big Data in the coming years.

With a focus on building state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, the policy is expected to usher in a new era for the communications sector with a light-touch, forward-looking, technology-friendly regulatory environment,” said FICCI.

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