‘Fixed line broadband access to 50% of households by 2022 is a tall task’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on May 02, 2018

The new telecom policy gives thrust on improving fixed line broadband through a massive roll out of optical fibre network to enable fixed line broadband access to 50 per cent of households by 2022. However, industry experts believe that this could be a tall task considering that so far all targets related to broadband roll out in the country have been missed by a big margin.

“The earlier policies also had set out ambitious targets when it comes to increasing broadband penetration but there’s lot between intent and actual implementation,” said an industry executive on conditions of anonymity. A number of broadband related projects, including the National Optical Fibre Network — Bharat Net — have been hit by delays and operational inefficiencies.

The new policy has spelt out a number of initiatives establishing two million Wi-Fi hotspots in rural areas, implementing a ‘Fibre First Initiative’ to take fibre to the home, to enterprises and to key development institutions in Tier-I, -II and -III towns and to rural clusters, according Telecom Optic Fibre Cables the status of public utility, leveraging existing assets of the broadcasting and power sector to improve connectivity, making requirement for telecom installations and the associated cabling and in-building solutions mandatory in all commercial, residential and office spaces by amending National Building Code of India, through Bureau of Indian Standards and creating a National Fibre Authority.

Analysts said that one more authority just for broadband may not be necessary. “The Centre already has created Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd to oversee the optical fibre project. In addition, there is TRAI, the DoT. On one hand the policy talks about easing the regulatory structure and on the other new layers are being added,” said another industry executive.

Published on May 02, 2018

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