New draft Telecom Policy has been launched on MoIT website for wider stakeholders’ consultation & comments for general public. This Moit draft is based on consultants’ recommendations, PTA, FAB, and feedback from telecom operators and relevant organizations. The draft includes all major areas pertaining to telecommunications i.e. fixed line, cellular, broadband and satellite. The emphasis is to envisage current and upcoming technological trends that need policy interventions so that a level playing field for operators is ensured and consumers be benefited appropriately.
This draft Telecom Policy 2014 has integrated the fixed line, mobile and broadband policies which were issued separately in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The revision of 2003 telecom policy was due since 2008. However it remained neglected from the site of previous dispensation who were in charge of the Ministry at that time . The Minister, on assuming charge in June 2013 immediately, took note of the delay and put this matter on Ministry’s priority agenda. Mrs. Anusha rahman is of the view that telecom policy review should focus on market and technological evolutions & also keeping in perspective the vision of accelerated digitization. This shall also provide certainty to the operators in doing business and provisioning of services to consumers in line with international practices at affordable rates.
The Telecom Policy draft is geared toward engaging private sector for accomplishment of achieving international bench marks pertaining to bridging ‘digital divide’ and achieving ‘accelerated digitization’ which is also the manifesto of the present government. The role of Universal Service and ICT R&D Funds are also underpinned to compliment these efforts of the Government, the Draft can be accessed at www.moit.gov.pk.
To discuss the draft further, stakeholders’ workshops have been scheduled on 14th and 15th October 2014.