By Ashutosh Asthana

The government on 1st May released the draft on new Telecom policy. National Digital Communication Policy - 2018 aims to invest $100 billion by 2022 in the digital communication industry while generating 40 lakh jobs for the citizens. The policy will primarily focus on reviving the industry from debt, to address the problems of the telecom sector and enhance ease of doing business by reviewing license fees and spectrum usage charges.
Here are the prime highlights of the draft:

1. The government will provide 1 Gbps broadband service to every gram panchayat by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.

2. By 2022, the policy aims to provide broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen.

3. The government aims to enable 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions, including educational institutions.

4. Indian government is also planning to increase the deployment of public Wi-Fi hotspot; 5 million by 2020 and 10 million by 2022.

5. The government aims to attract investments worth $100 billion by 2022.

6. Through this new policy, the government will generate 40 lakh jobs for the citizens.

7. With this new telecom policy, the government will initiate landline portability service.

8. The government aims to increase the digital communication sector's contribution in country's GDP from 6 percent to 8 percent.

9. The government will optimize the price of spectrum waves, necessary for telecommunication which will ensure sustainable, affordable and increased access to digital communications. Due to the higher price of spectrum, the telecom sector is under the debt of 7.8 lakh crore rupees.

10. To promote investment, the government will try to improve at the regulatory level and promote healthy competition.

11. The government will also provide cheap digital communication devices and services to the citizens.

On the new telecom policy, the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India said, "It is a very ambitious policy and even if five of these targets are met by 2022, it would be a significant contribution to the digital economy". According to IAMAI, the ambitious goals set for 2022 such as provision of broadband for all, creating 4 million additional jobs in the digital communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the digital communications sector to 8 percent of India's GDP and propelling India to the top 50 nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU, are socially relevant, clearly articulated and embraces the contribution of India to the digital communications economy of the world.

The author is the Assistant Editor of Thinking Aloud.

About Thinking Aloud

“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.
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