Regulatory and Policy Interventions
The first and immediate intervention required is that Broadband is declared as a Utility by the government. This will bring in fundamental change in the legal framework with respect to Broadband and also ease up the Right of Way (ROW) process making rapid network layouts possible.
For this purpose, some regulatory and policy interventions are essential so that the outlook towards Broadband in specificity and communications in general changes leading towards maximum inclusion.
Simplify the licensing process by channelizing the process through one institution. This can be done either by empowering any of the existing institutions involved or else creating a special purpose institution mandated to carry out end-to-end licensing provisioning.
There should be a push for fibre / wire line rollout as well as wireless alone cannot help achieve Digital India. For the same there should also be a nationwide policy on ducts. Specifications should be laid out for rollout, maintenance and other aspects at all touch points of inter-circle, intra-circle, local and in-building rollouts.
Telecom and Broadband infrastructure should be taken as an essential ingredient of future cities and hence form a critical element while designing and planning for future cities. Similarly, inclusion of Broadband readiness in the building codes should also be mandated.
Define governance framework to access the network for existing and any upcoming large-scale generic infrastructure rollout program like NOFN/ BharatNet, etc. Issues like Technical interconnect, access rules, access tariff, grievance redress, etc., should be addressed.
Rationalize levies and duties applicable that have a direct bearing on the Broadband development. This will increase Broadband affordability especially in smaller villages and towns.
Adequate spectrum should always be ensured by government. Therefore, there is a need to have long-term spectrum roadmaps and also explore feasibility of other technology interventions to optimize its usage.