“We are setting up a national portal for RoW so there will be a central one-stop-shop for entry of applications and approvals etc. This will be connected in the backend to either state portals or some of the states will be onboarded straight away on our system,” telecom secretary K Rajaraman told ET.
He added that the portal is in the final stages of development. “This will enable all the IP-1 infrastructure holders who lay optic fibres for others, TSPs (telecom service providers), etc to submit their applications online. The portal is in the testing phase and will be launched soon.”
The existing RoW policy has been adopted by about 18 states and the rest of the states are also close to agreeing, the secretary said. “In the next three to four months, we will make significant progress on the RoW issue once this portal becomes live,” Rajaraman said.
To ease out infrastructure development, DoT is in the process of formulating a street furniture policy wherein telecom players will be able to use street furniture including street lights, electricity and other utility poles or any other street-level infrastructure that can house wireless equipment, mainly small cells, which will enable them to bring their networks closer to the end customers.
The objective is to use various spaces in municipality buildings, post offices, bus, and railway stations for deployment of infrastructure, say experts.