Even before the pandemic hit our lives, during the last two decades, in an increasingly knowledge-driven globalized world, telecommunication has emerged as a key driver of economic and social development. Communication services such as voice, video, data, Internet, and wideband multimedia have become indispensable in the modern society.
Keeping in view the increasing requirement of broadband services, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI, referred to as “Authority”) issued its Recommendations dated 17th April 2015 to the Government on “Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?” These recommendations covered a wide range of topics such as Spectrum Licensing, Right of Way (ROW), National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), Towers, Fixed-line Broadband, Cable TV, Satellite, Hosting of Contents in India, License fee on ISPs, Infrastructure Sharing, and Promoting Adoption of Broadband.
Subsequently, after the notification of the National Digital Communications Policy–2018, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) vide three separate references sought the recommendations of the Authority on issues relating to the broadband speed, infrastructure creation, and broadband proliferation. In pursuance of the same, the Authority issued a Consultation Paper dated 20th August 2020 on “Roadmap to Promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband Speed”.
In view of the above, DoT has referred the aforesaid recommendation relating to exemption of License Fee on the revenues earned from fixedline broadband to TRAI for its reconsideration under the terms of subsection (1) of section 11 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (as amended). DoT vide its letter dated 12th March 2021 has requested TRAI to provide consolidated and updated recommendations in the light of the aforesaid consultation on “Roadmap to promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband Speed” dated 20th August 2020.
Now, while all this is happening in the background at the level of Government and with Concerned Ministries and Expert bodies are involved including DoT and TRAI with stake holder in Consultations.
It would be worth waiting to see how things shape up to support the Telecom Sector which is struggling on many fronts and need immediate support at the same time balancing the interest of Common People and Consumer, and keeping the Biology & Environment in mind for future Generations, as we all ask is your Telecom Green???