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DoT shelves new Indian Telecom Policy

Full article available here

New Delhi, July 2 (PTI): Even as the existing National Telecom Policy of 1999 lays down the roadmap of a review in every five years, the Department of Telecom has dropped the ill-fated draft of the proposed policy completely with no immediate plans to revive it. […]

Permitting number portability, implementing carrier access code (CAC), setting up of ombudsman, and unbundling of last-mile access for broadband services were some of the draft recommendations of the core committee of DoT on NTP.

DoT was never in favour of number portability, a facility which allows subscribers to retain their old number even if they change the service provider, carrier access code where the consumer could choose his/her long distance carrier and of course the unbundling of last mile of BSNL and MTNL for broadband.

The draft had sought dilution in regulator’s role, saying a ‘Light Touch’ approach should be made at a later stage.

The committee has also recommended M&A norms to be part of NTP. Currently, there are separate guidelines for M&As. Separation of accounting for different services will also be part of the policy.

The committee has recommended more autonomy to the Trai. It has recommended that the funding for Trai should come from the revenue share collected from the industry.

“There was a need to formulate a new policy as there are new emerging opportunities and challenges for maintaining the momentum of telecom growth,” the group preparing the draft had mentioned.

The NTP 1999 has been hailed as one of the most successful policies of the Government. The migration package offered by NTP 1999 came at a time when the mobile industry was under severe financial burden from the licence fee.

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