“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation under directions as per Administrator (Standing Committee) Resolution has reduced the Access Charges for laying of telecom optical fiber cable to Rs 1000 per Km from Rs 1 Lakh per Km. This is a substantial reduction and will benefit the industry,” the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a statement Tuesday.
It added that the decision will help in quick rollout of broadband across Mumbai and achieve the goal of “Broadband for All”.
COAI noted that it had flagged the proposal to recover access charges for the Right of Way for the laying of optic fiber cable is contradictory to RoW Rules 2016 and the Telecom Infrastructure Policy of Maharashtra (17 February 2018).
The New Delhi-based industry group represents Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea as well as telecom equipment makers Ericsson, Nokia and Cisco.
“Though we had requested the zero Access Charge in line with the RoW 2016 Rules, however, this is a substantial reduction and will benefit the members. COAI will continue to push for zero access charges in line with RoW rules in BMC and other municipalities/districts wherein it is being levied,” said SP Kochhar, Director General of COAI.
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“This is a positive step toward making Mumbai digitally advanced and achieving the goal of ‘Broadband for All’. We are grateful to DoT, Secretary for his continuous support and guidance on various RoW related & industry issues,” Kochhar added.
In the State Broadband Committee Meeting of Mumbai on November 12 last year, the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra had given a directive to form an inter-department committee to solve various issues across Mumbai that are hindering the roll-out of telecom infrastructure across the state like the levying of exorbitant restoration charges, access charges, and others.
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