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Government releases draft right of way rules under Telecommunications Act 2023

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In Short:

The government has released draft RoW rules under the Telecommunications Act 2023, easing regulatory requirements for telecom networks. No compensation for underground networks on public property, compensation for over ground networks. Installation rates for small cells specified. No charge for deploying cells on public buildings. Temporary network set up option for damaged infrastructure. Rules effective in 30 days, queries considered. Expected to ease problems in telecom industry.

Government Notifies Draft RoW Rules under Telecommunications Act 2023

New Delhi: The government has notified the draft right of way (RoW) rules under the Telecommunications Act 2023, which aims to ease the regulatory requirements for establishing a telecommunication network.

Key Highlights of the Draft Rules:

As per the draft rules released Thursday, there won’t be any compensation for the establishment of an underground telecommunication network on public property. For an overground network, compensation for the value of the public property may be given either once or annually if the property can’t be used for any other purpose once the network is set up.

For the installation of small cells, the rates have been specified as Rs 300 per annum for urban areas and Rs 150 per annum for rural areas per street furniture. For the installation of telecommunication lines, Rs 100 per annum per street furniture has been set. However, for the deployment of small cells on buildings/ structures under the ownership, control, or management of public entities, there won’t be any charges.

The new rules also state that there won’t be any fee for establishing a temporary overground network, allowing licensees to set up temporary overground telegraph infrastructure when their existing underground infrastructure is damaged, without any fees charged by the authorities.

The draft rules will be implemented after 30 days, with the government considering any queries or clarifications made within this period. The industry expects these rules to ease challenges faced by the telecom sector, especially in the context of RoW issues being governed by various state governments.

Companies interested in setting up a telecommunication network can apply online along with the requisite documents.

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