Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) has published a new draft telecom policy on its website to get wider stakeholders consultation and feedback from the public.
This draft is based on consultants recommendations, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) and feedback from telecom operators and relevant organizations.
The draft includes all major areas pertaining to telecommunications i.e. fixed-line, cellular, broadband and satellite.
MoIT said that the emphasis is to envisage current and upcoming technological trends that need policy interventions so that a level playing field for operators is ensured and consumers be benefitted appropriately.
Earlier, MoIT engaged services of professional and experienced international consultants for assignment through World Bank assistance.
This draft Telecom Policy 2014 has integrated the fixed-line, mobile and broadband policies which were issued separately in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The revision of 2003 telecom policy was due since 2008. However, it remained neglected from the site of previous dispensation who were incharge of the Ministry at that time.
The Minister for IT, Anusha Rahman, on assuming charge in June 2013 immediately took note of the delay and put this matter on Ministry’s priority agenda. She is of the view that telecom policy review should focus on market and technological evolutions and also keeping in perspective the vision of accelerated digitization.
This shall also provide certainty to the operators in doing business and provisioning of services to consumers in line with international practices at affordable rates.
The Telecom Policy draft is geared toward engaging private sector for accomplishment of achieving international bench marks pertaining to bridging `digital divide’ and achieving `accelerated digitization’ which is also the manifesto of the present government.
The role of Universal Service and ICT R&D Funds are also underpinned to compliment these efforts of the government.
Stakeholders workshops have also been scheduled on October 14 and 15 to discuss the draft further.
You can download the draft Telecom Policy by clicking this link.