The Indian Cabinet has approved the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) and re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission”.
The key objectives of the policy are:
- Broadband for all;
- Creating four 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 aims to:
- Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen;
- Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022;
- Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas;
- Attract investments of USD 100 billion in the Digital Communications Sector;
- Train one 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
- Facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy;
- Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and
- Secure digital communications infrastructure and services.
The policy advocates:-
- Establishment of a National Digital Grid by creating a National Fibre Authority;
- Establishing Common Service Ducts and utility corridors in all new city 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 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.