The government of Rajasthan has issued an order to further reduce the charges for laying of aerial optical fibre cables (OFC) to Rs 1,000 per pole annually, Rs 2,000 per manhole per chamber at district headquarters and Rs 1,000 per manhole per chamber in other towns, making the roll-out of OFC more cost-effective for the future.

Rajasthan was the first state to issue an order with respect to establishment and operations of telegraph equipment’s in the state of Rajasthan superseding the erstwhile policies/government orders, in line with Right of Way (RoW) Rules issued by Department of Telecommunication (DoT) vide gazette notification. The policy encourages the deployment of tower, underground OFC, aerial OFC, CoW, micro site, small cell, IBS, etc., that are essential to improve the digital connectivity across the state. The policy also supports the regularisation of the existing telecom infrastructure that will contribute towards the gross domestic production (GDP) growth of the state.

This order will further help in the realisation of the ‘Gati Shakti’ vision by meeting the targets set under National Broadband Mission (NBM) targets, increasing the broadband penetration, providing internet and broadband services to the citizens, improving the connectivity and capacity, and developing a robust telecom/digital infrastructure in the state.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the representative body for the Indian telecommunications industry, has lauded the efforts of the Rajasthan government to reduce the charges for laying of aerial OFC and underground OFC. This will help in the speedy laying of aerial OFC and fast track 5G rollouts across the state leading to a digitally connected and more advanced Rajasthan.

Commenting on the initiative, Lt. Gen. Dr. SP Kochhar, director general, COAI, “We thank the state government of Rajasthan for reduction of charges for laying of aerial OFC and underground OFC. Telecom service providers desire to foster the development of a robust network infrastructure that will support digital applications and ensures speedy network connectivity throughout the state. Our members are making aggressive investments in digital network infrastructure, and optic-fibre cable holds a major share of telcos’ in overall digital infrastructure. This reduction in charges by the government of Rajasthan will further facilitate the speedy roll-out of telecom infrastructure to make Rajasthan digitally more advanced.”