Draft telecom policy presented to stakeholders

STAFF REPORT ISB: A telecom draft policy has recently been presented at a session of stakeholders and discussions took place on various aspects of the policy.

The draft policy includes various new elements like satellite communication, spectrum strategy, spectrum harmonisation, spectrum trading, net neutrality, over the top services, competition framework, Wi-Fi hotspots, local manufacturing etc, which were not present in earlier policies. The draft was well received by the stakeholders.

Minister of State for IT Anusha Rahman chairing the sessions discussed the matter of duplicate International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and issues associated with it.

The forum proposed PTA might conduct a survey to ascertain the gravity of matter and hold consultations with the mobile operators to formulate a framework to discourage malpractices of duplication of IMEIs and use of stolen handsets on mobile networks.

She emphasized quality of services standards should be maintained and consumer protection should be the focus of operators. The draft policy has mentioned the alleviated role of Universal Service and ICT research and development funds. It was observed those funds were underutilised previously.

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