In line with its vision of transforming India to a digitally empowered economy and society by 2022, the government has come out with a draft new telecom policy. The draft of the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 was announced by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday. It lists its objectives under Connect India, to create a robust digital communications infrastructure; Propel India, to enable next generation technologies and services; and Secure India, to ensure sovereignty, safety and security of digital communications. The draft policy is now open to comments from stakeholders and the public.
Here Are 10 Main Features Of The Draft New Telecom Policy
- As part of Connect India, it envisages providing universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen. The policy also aims to enable fixed line broadband access to 50% households in the country.
- For Gram Panchayats, the target is to provide 1 Gbps connectivity by 2020 and increase it to 10 Gbps by 2022 through BharatNet.
- All key development institutions, including educational institutions, will have access to 100 Mbps broadband on demand.
- The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 lays down a “unique mobile subscriber density” of 55 by 2020 and 65 by 2022. A unique subscriber is a person who has subscribed to mobile services; the person may have multiple connections, or SIMs. Density refers to the number of subscribers per 100 people.
- On public Wi-Fi hotspots, the policy talks about a reach of 5 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022. This will be done through NagarNet for the urban areas and JanWiFi for the rural population.
- It aims to create a roadmap for emerging technologies like 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, and M2M.
- The policy’s goals for 2022 under Propel India include attracting investments worth USD 100 million in the digital communications sector. It intends to do so by according telecom infrastructure the status of “Critical and Essential Infrastructure” at par with other sectors like roadways, railways, waterways, and airlines.
- Secure India is an initiative to create a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy, and choice of individuals.
- The policy also envisages the creation of 4 million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector.
- According to the draft new telecom policy, the initiatives will ensure that the sector’s contribution to India’s GDP will go to 8% from the figure of 6% recorded in 2017.