Government Gives Nod to New Telecom Policy, Eyes Broadband for All

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new telecom policy – National Digital Communications Policy 2018 – designed to provide “broadband to all,” Union Communications Minister Manoj Sinha announced.

The policy, aimed at providing universal availability of 50Mbps and attracting investments worth $100 billion (about Rs. 7.26 lakh crores), was approved by the Telecom Commission in July after the government came out with a draft policy in May.

Sinha, addressing the media after the cabinet meeting, said that among other targets the policy aims to “provide broadband to all and create 40 lakh jobs.” It also aims at providing a “ubiquitous, resilient, secure and affordable” digital communication services. Further, the policy aims at providing 1Gbps connectivity to all “Gram Panchayats” by 2020 and 10Gbps by 2022.

It plans to propel India to the top 50 nations in the Information and Communication Technology Development Index of the International Telecommunication Union from 134 in 2017, enhancing the country’s contribution to global value chains and ensuring digital sovereignty, he added.