DoT frames Right of Way rules for telecom infrastructure

Source: Business Standard, Nov 10, 2016

New Delhi: Looking to set up telecom infrastructure faster, in a bid to improve service quality, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has framed the Right of Way guidelines to facilitate quicker acquisition of land for setting up mobile towers and laying fibre.

The guidelines, likely to be notified in a couple of days, propose that a RoW permit would have to granted within 60 days of application. In case of rejection, a reason would have to be given in writing.

Telecom operators usually blame local authorities for creating hurdles in the roll out of telecom infrastructure, especially in granting RoW permission.

“We have finalised Right of Way guidelines. It will be notified either today or tomorrow,” Telecom Secretary J S Deepak said at an event.

The department has also proposed that authorities concerned should not impose any fee, charge, lease rental, or licence fee other than the expense that they incur as a consequence of the proposed work.Deepak said the government was looking at reforms in spectrum allocation and usage of higher frequency airwaves.

“The most important reform in past year was harmonisation of spectrum. It has been fragmented since the time we started wireless telephony. Harmonisation is going to show up in the form of better quality of service for consumers,” he said.

Deepak also said after the last auction, average spectrum holding per telecom operator had gone up by 10 MHz.

“We are working to see how 21 GHz right up to the V-band can be better used. The V-band is obviously the special spectrum as it has great scope because of its capacity for backhaul, ability to aggregate WiFi hotspots and its low interference property due to oxygen absorption,” he said.

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