The National Digital Communications Policy includes a plan for establishing the National Fibre Authority (NFA), but the telecom department is yet to take further steps.
Telecom service providers and optic fibre makers want the government to provide incentives to encourage fibre deployments, a critical telecom infrastructure, ahead of the much-anticipated 5G commercial roll-out in the country.
Speaking to ET, Reliance Jio president Mathew Oommen said that the government should draw out incentives so that operators are not challenged to deliver on fibre which, according to him, is a critical element for India’s digital growth and story.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) feels the same. The operators’ body in a statement, which has a list of other demands to the government, has mentioned that private players should be incentivised to roll out fibre through tax incentives, rationalisation and easy investments.
The Delhi-based group consists of Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Fibre fund in the form of conducive policy
Oommen opines that such incentives could be in the form of conducive policy to attract more investments in building fibre infrastructure by telcos, uniform and reasonable right of way policies with timely approvals.
The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 lays much emphasis on the fibre-first initiative with incentives and promotion of fibre connectivity for new residential and commercial developments.
It also includes a plan to establish the National Fibre Authority (NFA), however, the department of telecom (DoT) is yet to take further steps.