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DoT asks Karnataka Government to align its tower policy with Right of Way rules, 2016

July 08, 2019
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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has written a letter to Chief Secretary, Karnataka Government requesting them to revise and align the Karnataka Tower Policy, 2019 as per the Right of Way (RoW) rules, 2016.

According to the Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), the Karnataka Tower Policy, 2019 does not has most of the provisions mentioned in the RoW rules, 2016. Further, the Karnataka administration continues to follow their existing policy dated 2015 which was also not aligned with any of the policies notified by the DoT.

Commenting on the development, Tilak Raj Dua, director general, TAIPA, said “It is dismaying to go through the new Karnataka Tower Policy, 2019 as it imposes number of regressive restrictions which will not only impede the rollout of telecom infrastructure across the Karnataka State but will hinder the overall ease of doing business and make it a digitally deprived state. We need to understand that Central Government with telecom industry is working hard to digitise the nation in order to enable socio-economic development across every nook and corner of the nation, not aligning state tower policy with Right of Way rules, 2016 will deprive the citizens of Karnataka from quality telecom services and high-speed broadband. TAIPA appreciates proactivity of DoT for issuing this letter, which may help in taking Karnataka along for achieving the Digital Indian mission.”

As of date, Karnataka has more than 32,000 mobile towers mounted with more than 136,000 BTSs serving 64 million wireless telecommunication subscribers. Karnataka state needs to double the number of towers and BTS count in order to connect the unconnected, to ensure seamless network connectivity and rollout future technologies such as 5G, internet of things, virtual reality and artificial intelligence etc.

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