This is part one of a two-part report covering TRAI's recommendations for a new national telecom policy. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given its recommendations for the new telecom policy to the department of telecommunications, suggesting wide-ranging policies for expanding the user base and the ease of doing business. Among its many objectives are leapfrogging India into the top-50 nations in the ICT Development Index (IDI) and creating two million jobs in ICT by 2022. Increasing user base One of the largest objectives in TRAI’s recommendation is increasing the reach of wireless broadband service to 90% population by 2022. This comes at a time when nearly 49.5% of India’s population is still unconnected, as per a September 2017 by Broadband Commission, jointly established by ITU and UNESCO. The TRAI recommends: Recognition of communications as connectivity infrastructure as essential as railways, roadways etc., to enable low-cost financing. Redesigning Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), meant to improve connectivity in rural areas, and improving institutional capacity to improve its execution. Promotion of infrastructure sharing among service providers. Sub-marine cable connectivity to Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands. Using satellites for telephony and broadband services in remote areas by bringing in more satellite transponders and spectrum bands and rationalizing their charges. Data Centres to rural locations Regular data collection on 'unique mobile subscriber density', and 'mobile network coverage' “In order to have a realistic assessment of access and affordability of telecommunication services, we need to shift focus from tele-density to…
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