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The Union Cabinet has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) to provide "broadband to all.
The new policy aimed at providing broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen, 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022 and to ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas.
Addressing the media after the cabinet meeting, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said that among other targets the policy aims to "provide broadband to all and create 40 lakh jobs".
It also aims at providing a "ubiquitous, resilient, secure and affordable" digital communication services, he said
In addition to that it aims to attract investments of $100 billion in the digital communications sector; train one million manpower for building New Age Skill, expand IoT ecosystem to five billion Billion connected devices and establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguard the privacy, autonomy, and choice of individuals.
It also plans to propel to the top 50 nations in the Information and Communication Technology Development Index of the International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017, enhancing the country's contribution to global value chains and ensuring digital sovereignty, Sinha added.
Furthermore, the policy further advocates for establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority; establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city and highway road projects; creating a collaborative institutional mechanism between Centre, States and Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardization of costs and timelines; removal of barriers to approvals; and facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks.
COAI also congratulates the DoT and TRAI on a well-crafted and comprehensive Policy document that had wide industry and stakeholder input and support.
Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI said: "We hope that the DoT will closely monitor the timely implementation of this policy so that the industry can recuperate from the .deepening financial stress. Thus, the most important and urgent requirement is to restore the financial health of the sector for which the Policy document envisages the reduction in levies and ease of doing business. This will help the industry in achieving the goals of and fulfilling the objectives outlined in the policy."