National Digital Communications Policy 2018 Getting Ready

October 26, 2018

After review and approval by the Telecom Commission and lastly by the Union Cabinet, the finalised policy is now in public domain, and it has won universal acclaim.
By now, it is widely accepted in India and abroad that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) excelled in coming out with a draft version of the top-class, path-breaking National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) after months of wide-ranging as well as intensive consultations with all the stakeholders, and also after getting the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the matter.
The draft policy was placed on the internet for further comments, if any, from all the stakeholders.
TheNDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and Communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable Digital Communications Infrastructure and Services.
The key objectives of the policy are provisioning of Broadband for all; creating 4 Million additional jobs in the Digital Communications sector; enhancing the contribution of the Digital Communications sector to 8% of India’s GDP from ~ 6% in 2017; propelling India to the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017; enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains; and ensuring Digital Sovereignty.These objectives are to be achieved by 2022.
The policy, inter-alia, aims to provide universal broadband connectivity at 50Mbps to every citizen; provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022; ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas; attract investments of USD 100 Billion in the Digital Communications Sector; train1 Million manpower for building New Age Skill; expand IoT ecosystem to 5 Billion connected devices; establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy; and Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services.
The policy further advocates for establishment of a National Digital Gridbycreating a National Fibre Authority; establishingCommon Service Ducts and utility corridors in all newcity 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.
The present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom Sector such as 5G, IoT, M2M etc., a need was being felt to introduce a ‘customer focused’ and ‘application driven’ policy for the Indian Telecom Sector which can form the main pillar of Digital India by addressing emerging opportunities for expanding not only the availability of Telecom services but also Telecom based services.
Accordingly, the new National Digital Communications Policy -2018 has been formulated, in place of the existing National Telecom Policy-2012, to cater to the modern needs of the digital Communications Sector of India.

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