Telecom panel meeting today

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

May consider FDI limit up to 100% under automatic route for all telecom services

The Telecom Commission (TC) is meeting on Thursday to discuss some crucial steps in the telecom industry such as raising the FDI limit up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for all telecom services, including infrastructure providers.

As of now, all telecom services, including telecom infrastructure providers, such as basic, cellular, unified access services, unified licence (access services), unified licence, dark fibre, right of way, duct space and tower have FDI cap/equity up to 100 per cent and automatic up to 49 per cent.

According to sector experts, increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit to 100 per cent under automatic route for infrastructure providers will be a welcome step as that would create transparency and abolish bureaucracy or red-tapism.

There is no logic for keeping it at 49 per cent as that leads to a lot of hurdles for both the government and the companies, they observed.

Meanwhile, the Telecom Commission would discuss the possibilities of financial assistance/grant for the project proposal of IITs to set up ‘Indigenous 5G Test Bed' in India’, sources told BusinessLine.

The Commission is the top decision-making body under the Department of Telecommunications.

BharatNet project

According to sources, Thursday’s meeting is also likely to consider implementation of BharatNet phase-II and funding in Odisha and Chhattisgarh under the State model.

“Some of the other topics in the agenda include — expenditure proposal for augmentation of satellite bandwidth from 1Gbps to 2 Gbps by BSNL for Andaman and Nicobar islands – and provision of mobile connectivity in uncovered inhibited villages in areas affected by ‘Left Wing Extremism’,” said sources.

The Commission will also discuss the progress and status of different telecom development parameters for September, sources said, adding that the highest decision-making body of DoT may also take up a stock of the latest developments in the sector, including telecom regulator’s recommendations on spectrum caps.

Published on December 20, 2017

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