Govt. May Launch Broadband Services Readiness Index For States

The government is planning to launch broadband services readiness index of states based on parameters like infrastructure, approval processes and utilization of high speed Internet, a top telecom department official said. “According to a study by ICRIER (a research firm), $100 billion investment will have seven-fold multiplier effect on GDP. There is a need of a national mission to make this happen. We are going to launch broadband readiness index for states which will be vital for investments,” Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told. She said the Ministry of Electronics and IT has also shown interest in states readiness index and want to expand it further.

The telecom ministry will hold first workshop on implementation of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) which envisages $100 billion investment in telecom sector by 2022, broadband connectivity at 50 megabit per second speed to every citizen, telecom connectivity at every corner of India and creating 40 lakh jobs. “This is first preparatory national workshop on implementation of NDCP in which 25 states have confirmed to participate. Here we will launch National Broadband Mission to achieve objective of broadband for all,” Sundararajan said.

Industry leaders and associations will discuss at the NDCP workshop issues they are facing in states especially in rolling out telecom infrastructure which in turn impact investments. “We want to ensure that 5G is not limited to urban areas. It should reach rural areas. For this, we have to work with states to ensure that there is 100 per cent penetration of optical fiber cables. Without massive OFC penetration, 5G services will not expand. States have to provide smooth right of way permissions,” Sundararajan said.

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