New telecom policy to be rolled out by July end

The new digital communications (telecom) policy is expected to be in place in next few months.

The draft policy will be placed before Telecom Commission, the highest policy-making body of the department of telecommunications, in its meeting on June 29 and a final approval by the Cabinet is expected by the end of July, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said at a conference on Tuesday.

He also said in-flight connectivity service is expected to be in place in a year.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had recently issued draft of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018, which aims to provide access to every household with download speed of 50 Mbps, attract investment of around Rs 6.5 lakh crore in the sector and create four million new job opportunities in the next few years.

Telecom Commission will also discuss net-neutrality and framework for new technologies.

Sinha was addressing a conference on the four years of achievement of his ministry.

DoT special secretary N Sivasailam said that there has been an increase in public spending by six times, from Rs 9,000 crore in 2009-14 to Rs 60,000 crore in 2014-19, which includes both actual and planned expenditure. In last three years investment in the sector has crossed Rs 3 lakh crore, from both government and private firms, which is one-third of Rs 9 lakh crore invested in the sector till date.

Many projects are in the pipeline encompassing the roll out 4,072 mobile towers with an outlay of Rs 7,330 crore by 2020, setting up of over 10 lakh wifi hotspots in rural areas over and above 25,000 wifi hotspots of BSNL and 7,000 e-choupals with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.

Meanwhile, the Department of Posts (DoP) is waiting for the approval of Reserve Bank of India to start operations of 650 branches of India Post payments Bank. These branches will be connected with all 1.5 lakh post office branches subsequently. A separate insurance company under DoP is also being explored, the minister said.dnaindia

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