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Data centre firms seek clarity on dark fibre for captive networks

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In Short:

The data centre industry in India is seeking clarification from the government on regulations to use dark fibre for captive networks, to reduce costs and improve ease of doing business. Currently, data centres have to lease bandwidth at a high cost from licensed telecom providers. The industry forecasts significant growth with increasing adoption of cloud and artificial intelligence. Enabling dark fibre provision would boost EoDB in India, aligning with the Digital India mission.

Data Centre Industry Seeks Government Clarification on Dark Fibre Regulations

The data centre industry is urging the government to provide clarity on regulations regarding the use of dark fibre for captive networks. This move aims to enhance the ease of doing business (EoDB) as the sector is on the brink of growth due to the rising adoption of cloud services and artificial intelligence.

Current Challenges

Currently, the industry depends on leasing bandwidth from licensed telecom service providers for these purposes, incurring significant costs. Despite raising concerns with the government, the progress in addressing these challenges has been slow.

Importance of Dark Fibre Provisioning

According to Nasscom, providing dark fibre could greatly enhance EoDB in India, aligning with the Digital India initiative and facilitating businesses in the country. Dark fibre allows data centres to have complete control over their network management, particularly in scenarios like expanding across different locations.

Industry Growth Projections

A CBRE report forecasts India’s data centre market to surpass 1,300 MW by 2024. Additionally, a Nasscom report anticipates an average annual investment of $5 billion in the sector by 2025. Globally, the AI server market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 26.5% by 2029, reaching $50.65 billion.

Industry Advocacy

Various industry stakeholders have emphasized the need for clarification on whether licensed carriers can offer dark fibre to enterprises. This clarity is vital for reducing costs, enhancing scalability, and supporting the growth of data centres in India.

Policy Recommendations

The industry is advocating for a more conducive regulatory environment that aligns with global best practices, enabling data centres to manage inter-data centre traffic efficiently. These changes could lower operational costs and benefit India’s startup ecosystem.

Call to Action

Addressing the dark fibre regulation issue promptly is critical for India to solidify its position as a data centre hub and accommodate the increasing demand for cloud services and AI infrastructure. A clarification from the Department of Telecommunications is awaited by industry players to drive positive changes.

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