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Digital India: Centre’s new law to rationalise Right of Way procedures for laying telecom infrastructure

News:

  • The Attorney General of India has given the go ahead to the Telecom Department for framing of rules under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 to prescribe principles for granting Right of Way by state governments and local bodies and for levy of charges for the establishment of telecom infrastructure.
  • Problems have arisen as some states charge rather exorbitantly for laying of fibres and even impose taxing preconditions that telecom service providers often find difficult to meet.
  • Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh are even said to demand free bandwidth for government institutions.
  • Gujarat and Kerala levy annual rental charges in addition to one time charges for fibre infrastructure laid by telecom service providers.
  • “It has to be understood Right of Way issues are integral to digitalisation of India and must be opened up for laying of fibers,” says Ravi Shankar Prasad, Telecom Minister.

Source: ET

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