The telecom commission on Wednesday approved the recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the National Digital Communications Policy 2018. The commission also extended its support for open internet, maintaining the core principles of net neutrality.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018, which now awaits the cabinet approval, also aims to create a “robust digital communication infrastructure” in the country as well as resolve issues pertaining to safety and security of digital communications. Here are the key takeaways from the new telecom policy.
1. The government aims to provide 50Mbps of broadband coverage to everyone by 2022. This also includes providing 1Gbps internet connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10Gbps by 2022. The government also plans to provide 100Mbps broadband speed to key development institutions.
The government also aims to boost Wi-Fi ecosystem in the country by deploying 5 million public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2020 and 10 million by 2022.
2. To amplify the connectivity in the country, the government is aiming to attract $100 billion investments in the digital communications sector. This will involve encouraging start-ups in the sector as well as training/re-skilling 1 million manpower.
3. As India gears up for the 5G telecom network, the government is aiming to expand the IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices. The government will be creating a roadmap for these emerging technologies such as 5G, Artificial Intelligence, IoTs, cloud computing and even Machine-to-Machine communications.
The plan is to “simplify licensing and regulatory frameworks whilst ensuring appropriate security frameworks for IoT/ M2M / future services and network elements incorporating international best practices,” according to the policy.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 entails “implementing an action plan for rollout of 5G applications and services, enhancing the back-haul capacity to support the development of next-generation networks like 5G, and ensuring availability of spectrum for 5G in <1 GHz, 1-6 GHz and >6 GHz bands.”
4. The new telecom policy also focuses on improving security and safety of digital communications by creating a new policy on “encryption and data retention” by “harmonising the legal and regulatory regime in India pertaining to cryptography with global standard.”
5. The policy envisages creating a National Fibre Authority under a larger roof called, “National Digital Grid.” This aims to connect common service ducts and utility corridors in all cities along with highway road projects.