According to K Rajaraman, chairman, Digital Communications Commission, and secretary (Telecommunications), Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the government is working to bring down the cost of telecom operations to attract more investments in the sector. 

While speaking at the Telecom Convergence Summit 2022 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said that the cost of maintaining optic fibre network is very forbidding. If the cost of operations for the telecom network could be brought down, more investment will be attracted. He informed that various policy measures are underway to achieve this. 

Rajaraman added that the government is running a pilot of ‘call before you dig’ application in some states to avoid damage to telecom infrastructure while digging roads and doing other infrastructure-related works. He said that good digital connectivity cannot rest on mobile service only and complimentary connectivity through fibre to support mobile services is critical.

Further, he informed that optical fibre is available in urban areas and in rural areas, BharatNet has enabled the department to reach 189,000 villages so far. The target is to reach 220,000 by the middle of 2023 for which the work is going. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans to provide broadband connectivity in all 600,000 villages in the country. The work to connect these 600,000 villages is being separately carried out.

Meanwhile, Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, said that after merger of Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in October 2022, BSNL has issued 55,000 optical fibre-based broadband connections. The minister added that the DoT has made processes faceless to provide the benefit of technology to people at the bottom of the pyramid.