The telecom ministry is planning to bring new telecom policy by February end and would release its draft by December-end for public comments.
We are trying to bring new telecom policy by February. For this, the working group has started the process. We expect to finalize draft by end of December and place it for public comments, communications minister Manoj Sinha said.
On BharatNet he said that as on Sunday optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connectivity has been achieved in 1,03,275 GPs by laying fiber for 2,38,677 km. Due to several measures initiated to accelerate the end-to-end connectivity, GPON equipment has been installed in 85,506 GPs and 75,082 GPs are services ready.
For asymmetrical bandwidth between the block to GPs, the charges per annum vary from Rs.700/- per Mbps for up to 10Mbps and Rs. 200/- per Mbps for 1 Gbps. However, for symmetrical bandwidth between the block to GP, charges have been prescribed as Rs.1000/- per Mbps up to 10Mbps, and Rs.500/- per Mbps for 100 Mbps per annum. Tariff for any intermediate Bandwidth shall be calculated on pro-rata basis.
Further, the discount of 5 percent to 25 percent have been offered for taking bandwidth from more than 1000 GPs to more than 25,000 GPs in a single application. Further, to lower the entry barriers, port charges at block and GP have been waived off. Tariffs for dark fibre are prescribed as Rs.2250/- per fibre per km per annum for service providers and Government agencies.
Sinha further said that Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) came forward to offer BharatNet connectivity, Airtel has shown interest in 10000 GPs for taking 1 Gbps connectivity on lease while Reliance Jio, Vodafone, and Idea are interested in taking 100 Mbps connectivity on lease in about 30000, 2000 and 1000 GPs respectively.
The rolling out of services by TSPs in these GPs are expected to trigger the village level eco-system thereby widening the extent to cover more and number of GPs in near future. This will give an impetus to broadband facilities in rural India.