The government will disclose in advance the roadmap for spectrum auction in future, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Also Read - 4G spectrum auction: Reliance Jio comes out as highest bidder, Airtel follows
“First and foremost message which I want to convey to the industry here today is that spectrum auction in future should also be conducted in a fair, reasonable and timely manner so that the industry does not have any cause for uncertainty and ambiguity … the roadmap will be well disclosed to you in advance so you can prepare yourself,” Prasad said during a Digital Bharat event organised by Ficci. Also Read - Telecom spectrum auctions begin today: Here's all you need to know
The Minister said the spectrum auction held in March this year was his test as he had to introduce good governance and give the assurance of complete independence and transparency. The government raised a record Rs 109,874.91 crore in the country’s biggest and the fiercest auction of spectrum that concluded in March. Also Read - Government to offer free movies to new internet users in remote areas: Report
Regarding the quality of services of state-run BSNL and call drop problem, Prasad said both BSNL and private players need to improve. “The public sector BSNL need to be improved and yes the private players also need to improve in terms of call drop. A country of the size of India from whom the world is expecting so much needs to address these areas of gaps,” Prasad said.
The Minister said internet condition in the country is not very good as of now and it needs to be improved. Prasad also highlighted the role of private players in distributing services like e-commerce, e-education, e-health, e-entertainment etc in rural areas. “I have told my officials to work out a particular arrangement, can we release certain brown fibre or grey fibre or whatever name it is called for operation by these private players for distribution in rural areas,” Prasad said.
The Minister added these are the new ideas which completely excite him. “…for me any new initiative must have twin objectives, consumer interest and growth of telecom and IT sector,” he said. The Minister also said that he had constituted a committee for suggesting ways to fast-track national optical fibre network (NOFN) and the panel has submitted its report.
The roadmap for revamping the project, which aims to provide broadband connectivity to all village panchayats, will be announced soon, he added.