Seven states, two UTs agree to uniform pricing on Right of Way

Rajesh Kurup | | Updated on: Jul 22, 2020
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In a move that will help in the faster rollout of telecom services, seven States and two Union Territories have agreed to uniform pricing on the Right of Way (RoW) in telecom.

The States that agreed to the RoW rules notified in November 2016 are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, and Gujarat, while Puducherry and Lakshadweep are the UTs.

The alignment of the States and UTs came at the review meeting held to assess the progress of the National Broadband Mission (NBM) held by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) over video-conferencing on Tuesday.

“The uniform pricing under the RoW Policy is a one-time permission fee of ₹10,000 per mobile tower and ₹1,000 per km for laying fibre. As of now, this differs from state to state. Even after three years of its notification, only 16 states have broadly aligned their policy with the RoW Policy,” TR Dua, Director-General, Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), told BusinessLine .

The RoW is a framework for setting up of telecom towers, laying of fibre cables, settling disputes in a time-bound manner and improving coordination between companies, state governments and local bodies.

At present, different states have different rules and pricing for installation of towers and putting optical fibre in the ground.

Certain operational issues such as pending permissions for new telecom towers, non-availability of a single-window online portal, pending electricity, rationalisation of property tax and electricity tariff reduction, among others, were also discussed.

The NBM would help in the faster growth of digital communications infrastructure in India, which will provide affordable and universal broadband access.

TAIPA members include Indus Towers, ATC Telecom Infrastructure, Bharti Infratel and Tower Vision, and counts Sterlite Technologies, Space Telelink, Applied Solar Technologies and Coslight India as associate members.

ALSO READ: India needs another 1 lakh telecom towers immediately: TAIPA

Published on July 22, 2020

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