Highlights of Draft National Telecom Policy 2011

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New Delhi: Union Minister of Communications and Information and Human Resource Development, Shri Kapil Sibal unveiled the draft National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2011 on October 10, 2011. The National Telecom Policy 2011 envisions providing the people of India, secure, reliable, affordable and high quality converged telecommunication services anytime, anywhere. Kerala IT News takes a look at the highlights of the Draft National Telecom Policy 2011.

Some important objectives of the policy:

1. Increase in rural tele-density from the current level of around 35 to 60 by the year 2017 and 100 by the year 2020.
2. Provide affordable and reliable broadband on demand by the year 2015 and to achieve 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and making available higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps on demand.
3. Provide high speed and high quality broadband access to all village panchayats through optical fibre by the year 2014 and progressively to all villages and habitations.
4. Promote indigenous R&D, innovation and manufacturing that serve domestic and foreign markets.
5. Promote the domestic production of telecommunication equipment to meet 80% Indian telecom sector demand through domestic manufacturing with a value addition of 65% by the year 2020.
6. Provide preferential market access for domestically manufactured telecommunication products including mobile devices, SIM cards with enhanced features etc. with special emphasis on Indian products for which IPRs reside in India to address strategic and security concerns of the Government, consistent with international commitments.
7. Strive to create One Nation – One License across services and service areas.
8. Achieve One Nation – Full Mobile Number Portability and work towards One Nation – Free Roaming.
9. To reposition the mobile phone from a mere communication device to an instrument of empowerment that combines communication with proof of identity, fully secure financial and other transaction capability, multi-lingual services and a whole range of other capabilities that ride on them and transcend the literacy barrier.
10. Deliver seamless ICT, multimedia and broadcasting services on converged networks for enhanced service delivery to provide superior experience to customers.
11. Optimize transmission of services to consumers irrespective of their devices or locations by Fixed-Mobile Convergence thus making available valuable spectrum for other wireless services.
12. Facilitate consolidation in the converged telecom service sector while ensuring sufficient competition.
13. Mandate an ecosystem to ensure setting up of a common platform for interconnection of various networks for providing non-exclusive and non-discriminatory access.
14. Promote an ecosystem for participants in VAS industry value chain to make India a global hub for Value Added Services (VAS).
15. Ensure adequate availability of spectrum and its allocation in a transparent manner through market related processes. Make available additional 300 MHz spectrum for IMT services by the year 2017 and another 200 MHz by 2020.
16. Strengthen the framework to address the environmental and health related concerns pertaining to the telecom sector.
17. Encourage adoption of green policy in telecom and incentivize use of renewable resources for sustainability.
18. Protect consumer interest by promoting informed consent, transparency and accountability in quality of service, tariff, usage etc.
19. Encourage recognition and creation of synergistic alliance of public sector and other organisations of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) through appropriate policy interventions.
20. Achieve substantial transition to new Internet Protocol (IPv6) in the country in a phased and time bound manner by 2020 and encourage an ecosystem for provision of a significantly large bouquet of services on IP platform.
21. Put in place a web based, real time e-governance solution to support online submission of applications for all services of DoT and issuance of licences and clearances from DoT.

Some major strategies proposed in the policy:

1. To make efforts to recognise telecom and broadband connectivity as a basic necessity like education and health and work towards ‘Right to Broadband’.
2. To revise the existing broadband download speed of 256 Kbps to 512 Kbps by 2011 and subsequently to 2 Mbps by 2015 and higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps thereafter.
3. To spur the domestic telecom equipment manufacturing segment to meet the indigenous demands for becoming self-reliant in telecom/ICT equipment design and manufacturing.
4. To encourage indigenous manufacturing of cost effective customer end terminals and devices including mobile devices, SIM cards with enhanced features etc.
5. To build synergies between existing, on-going and future Government programs viz e- governance, e-panchayat, NREGA, NKN, AADHAR, AAKASH tablet etc. and roll-out of broadband.
6. To ensure the availability of sufficient microwave spectrum to meet current and future demand for wireless backhaul especially in prime bands below 12 GHz, in addition to higher spectrum bands. Unlicensed spectrum will be made available for proliferation of wireless broadband services.
7. To ensure focused indigenous development in the telecom sector, efforts would be concentrated towards a definite policy direction by creating a suitable road-map to align technology, demand, standards and regulations, after considered evaluation of candidate technologies and the emerging trends.
8. To create fund to promote indigenous R&D, IPR creation, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, commercialising and deployment of state-of-the-art telecom products and services.
9. To promote setting up of Telecommunications Standard Development Organisation (TSDO) as an autonomous body with strong participation of the industry, R&D centres, service providers, and academia to drive consensus regarding national requirements.

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