The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked states to designate a nodal officer who can be contacted by operators and internet service providers (ISPs) in case of difficulties.

The move comes as an attempt to keep critical telecom network and infrastructure up and running amid COVID-19 outbreak.

In its letter to chief secretaries of all states and advisors to administrators of Union Territories, DoT said that telecom infrastructure is critical for maintaining communication, use of broadband and internet services, encouraging e-commerce and facilitating work-from-home during the period of restrictions. This infrastructure includes telephone exchanges, mobile switching centres, network operation centres (NOCs), transmission centres, data centres, telecom towers, call centres and warehouses where maintenance spares are stored.

“You are requested to designate a nodal officer, whose co-ordinates including names and telephone numbers, etc may kindly be shared with us and who can be contacted by any of the telecom service providers, ISPs, telecom licensees in the event of any difficulty,” the letter added.

Further, the letter stated that there are instances being reported where local authorities have asked the personnel of the telecom service providers at NOCs and call centres to shut down operations in view of the restrictions. Hence, it will be necessary that instructions reach the field-level staff to permit personnel maintaining and providing telecom services to continue their work without interruption.

Recently, the DoT wrote to chief secretaries of all states, urging them to allow movement of field staff of telecom companies and infrastructure providers to ensure uninterrupted operation of critical communications networks amid coronavirus outbreak.