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Summary: Consultation paper on setting up data centres, content delivery networks, and Interconnect Exchanges

Besides outlining measures to attract investments, the regulator touched on existing issues that need to be addressed.

A regulatory framework for the establishment of data centres, content delivery networks, and interconnect exchanges has been proposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a consultation paper inviting comments until January 13, 2022. Why this matters: The rollout of 5G, Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence will lead to an exponential growth in the consumption of data which will be possible only with the necessary infrastructure. India does not have a national policy that enables the establishment of data centres, CDNs, and Internet Exchanges (IXP) but this paper may be the first step in that direction. Comments can be sent to Sanjeev Kumar Sharma, Advisor (Broadband and Policy Analysis), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, at advbbpa@trai.gov.in along with jtadvbbpa-1@trai.gov.in and jtadvbbpa-3@trai.gov.in. Summary of TRAI's observations on Data Centres “A data centre is a physical facility that is used to house applications and data. Online platforms and websites’ digital data, content, and information are stored in the cloud servers located in data centres, and the same is accessed by users through broadband connectivity,” the paper stated. What are the measures needed to attract data centres? Land, power, telecom and IT networks, and ease of doing business are four critical aspects for a data centre to thrive, and the policy framework should keep these factors in mind, TRAI recommended. A new data centre requires close to 30 approvals/permissions from different central and state governments’ departments before it can start operations, it added. Some of the proposed non-fiscal measures are: Specified timelines for…

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