The Press Report released by Communications ministry is given below. According to this, the Government will finalize the New Telecom Policy -2018 by February 2018. NTP (1994)and NTP (1999)have both granted increased favours to the private companies and discriminated BSNL. It is certain that the NTP -2018 will not be different, especially since all the private telcos are demanding for more and more more concessions after the entry of Reliance Jio.

The Telecom Ministry hopes to finalise the new national telecom policy by February 2018. It is planning to seek public comments by December-end.

Addressing mediapersons here, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha also said the BharatNet project is going on at a faster pace, and firms such as Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone are ready to provide services to rural areas. Under BharatNet, the Centre plans to provide broadband connectivity to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats (GPs).

“Telecom services providers have come forward for utilising BharatNet connectivity. Airtel has shown interest in 10,000 GPs for taking 1 Gbps connectivity on lease, while Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Idea are interested in taking 100 Mbps connectivity on lease in about 30,000, 2,000 and 1,000 GPs, respectively,” Sinha said.

“The rolling out of services by TSPs in these GPs is expected to trigger the village-level ecosystem, thereby widening the extent to cover more number of GPs in near future. This will give an impetus to broadband facilities in rural India.”

Sinha said that as of November 5, optical fibre cable connectivity has been achieved in 1,03,275 GPs by laying fibre for 2,38,677 km. GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks) equipment have been installed in 85,506 GPs, and 75,082 GPs are services ready.

For asymmetrical bandwidth between blocks and GPs, the charges per annum varies from ₹700 per Mbps for up to 10Mbps to ₹200 per Mbps for 1 Gbps. However, for symmetrical bandwidth between blocks and GPs, annual charges have been prescribed as ₹1,000 per Mbps up to 10Mbps, and ₹500 per Mbps for 100 Mbps. Tariff for any intermediate bandwidth will be calculated on pro-rata basis.