MoIT Publishes Draft Telecom Policy for Consultation

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.

    • 10.8 is 100% a lie. It will be used against any content they don’t like, and agreements made with Twitter, Facebook, and others RIGHT NOW (which PTA denies to media but admits to courts) are evidence of that.

      10.8.7 — according to responses to concerned citizens, the ministry has already said the IMC has never met ONCE in seven years of “operation” yet sites continue to be blocked left and right with no one to explain who or what is behind the blockages, and WHY they are being blocked. And also WHY they sites are readily unblocked when there is public outrage. Logically, If the sites were “bad” then they would not be unblocked. Yet they are unblocked. So why were they blocked in the first place? Clearly not because they were “bad”

      Seriously I don’t understand why people don’t highlight their (PTA, MoIT) lies more often.

  • if policies are not reviewed since 2008, there must be some catch in it. i think there are certain things, which need to be reflected in telecom act. Without change in Act, review of policies is such a waste of time. Secondly, there must be some review of earlier indicators, especially frameworks of USF/R&D fund. Every organisation, i.e. USF, ICT, PCB, PSEB, FAB etc should give their strategy and target indicators or goals for this policy paper. Where is convergence, talking about ICT need to converge services also. Converging IT, Telecom, Media and surely merge PTA and PEMRA. Dire need for a strong content regulator indeed.

  • It is also proposed to merge ICT R&D Fund and USF. Secondly, merge SCO and NTC also. So these agencies can collaborate effectively. Otherwise, they do not even know others works and at the same time trying to intervene in others mandate. Mergers can be a good solution indeed. Same Board of Directors, same infrastructures and high rent buildings can at least cut the operational costs.

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