TRAI recommends DoT to use Fiber Optic Network to expand telecom coverage in Himachal Pradesh

Telecom regulator TRAI on Monday suggested that the Ministry of Telecommunications should approach the Ministry of Defense for access to a portion of the fiber optic network or suitable bandwidth to expand telecom coverage in remote areas of the country. Himachal Pradesh.

The regulator recommends that in four districts – Lahaul and Spiti, Mandi, Kullu and Chamba – villages that are not yet connected under the BharatNet Project should be immediately connected on a VSAT vehicle that can be provisioned as soon as possible. optical fiber (OFC) backhaul is provided.

The districts were identified to have 181 unsheltered villages, of which 14 are planned to be included in the ‘354 Villages Program’ and 142 villages will be included in the ‘Saturated’ category. 4G Mobile’ schema of USOF. These plans still leave 25 villages without telecommunications coverage.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its recommendations on “improving telecommunications infrastructure and connectivity in remote areas of Himachal Pradesh” suggested that Telecommunications agency (DoT) should work with the Department of Defense (MoD) to allocate one or two pairs of OFCs on the NFS network to expand telecommunication coverage (including broadband service) to villages located in border or remote areas in the state under the BharatNet project.

“In case the same is not possible, MoD can be approached to allocate suitable bandwidth on top of its existing functional OFC to extend telecom coverage to such villages,” Trai said. .

According to Project Kranti, also known as Network For Spectrum (NFS), a nationwide OFC network is being deployed by BSNLof which nearly 60,000 km of OFC is being used exclusively by defense forces instead of 65 MHz spectrum surrendered by defense for auction by the DoT.

The regulator said it had received references to activating the ICR for remote and mountainous areas prone to natural disaster emergencies and that it would issue its own recommendations on the matter. this subject after consultation.

TRAI has recommended that the capital expenditure (Capex) and operating costs (Opex) required to provide telecommunications infrastructure and connectivity for 25 roofless villages (in three revenue districts are Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu and Chamba) should be funded by the government through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

“It is recommended that the DoT can handle the case with the HP state government as it does not charge any RoW (right of way) fees to telecom providers and IP-Is to connect the remote and hilly areas in the state include all locations in the four districts,” TRAI said.

The regulator has suggested that the DoT should work with the state government, NHI and BRO, that in all road construction, road widening or other related work should be done in coordination. Contracts with telecom operators and the contractor’s responsibility to pay for damage to telecommunications networks should be included ab-initio in the contract.

“The DoT should also work with the HP state government to explore the possibility of building utility pipelines in all future road expansion and new road construction projects. This will help with the rapid rollout of all future projects. utilities, including telecommunications, in the state, TRAI said.

The regulator has suggested that the DoT should work with the Himachal government to review the supply of electricity to telecommunications sites within 15 days of a request for connection under utility or industrial tariffs, and consider free installation of the last leg to extend electricity connection to telecommunications locations in remote areas. hilly areas.

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