CAG Pulls Up DoT Above Spectrum Pricing Mechanism for Captive People: Specifics

The Comptroller and Auditor Standard (CAG) has pulled up the telecom department for not finalising coverage on spectrum assignment for captive users and flagged the absence of spectrum price evaluation for captive people administratively. In its report titled ‘Management of spectrum assigned on the administrative basis to government departments/agencies’, the CAG requested the Office of Telecom (DoT) to evaluate the spectrum pricing mechanism for captive consumers to incentivise ministries, departments and businesses, and for retaining spectrum administration self-control.

“They may well contemplate differential pricing, dependent on the features and use of various spectrum bands,” the CAG stated in a report tabled in Parliament on Monday.

It noted that irrespective of obtaining a lawful impression (July 2021) on its have reference, with regards to the method for allotment of spectrum for captive employs, together with authorities departments, the office had not finalised the policy for allotment and assignment of spectrum for captive uses/other business products and services with the acceptance of the Electronic Communications Commission.

The DCC is the apex entire body for telecom policy formulation.

DoT experienced also not reviewed the pricing of spectrum assigned for captive people administratively, on formulae foundation given that 2012, nevertheless a Committee experienced encouraged for a periodical assessment of the pricing policy in 2013,” the CAG report stated.

There was no differential pricing for spectrum, dependent on functions and utilization of different spectrum bands assigned to consumers, it observed.

“DoT may well devise a plan on allotment and assignment of spectrum for captive users/other business usages in alignment with statements created in NDCP 2018 (Nationwide Electronic Interaction Coverage) and stop adhocism in allotment of spectrum to govt departments/ organizations,” the report explained.

It advised that the DoT ought to build a long lasting established-up comprising all stakeholders for a periodical assessment of spectrum planning, availability, allotments, assignments and pricing. This would expedite selections for effective administration and best utilisation of spectrum in India.

“They may perhaps also guarantee that an MIS (management information and facts procedure) is put in place in DoT to get details of precise spectrum utilised by Governing administration user departments and businesses,” the CAG suggested.

The DoT in consultation with all the departments really should consider proactive steps for the finalisation of tips of working teams and selections of the Committee of Secretaries for reassignment, re-allotment and refarming of the spectrum.

“In pursuance of NDCP 2018, DoT may perhaps coordinate with Govt users to supply spectrum in substitute bands for users in 1427-1500 MHz and 2300-2400 MHz bands, harmonisation physical exercise in 2100 MHz, sharing of spectrum in 700 MHz band as these had been discovered for IMT (Intercontinental Cell Telecommunications) use and have scope for professional utilisation of spectrum,” it stated.

The DoT and Railways need to check the completion of LTE (Prolonged-Term Evolution) dependent network task in the 700 MHz band so that Railways vacate the spectrum in the 900 MHz band being used by them, and it is produced obtainable for professional utilisation.

“DoT in consultation with TRAI may possibly consider early action for the auction/ utilisation of IMT spectrum lying idle with them,” the report reported.

The Section of Area (DOS) and DoT ought to work jointly to identify a suited technology answer in a fashion that the two companies can co-exist in essential frequency bands.

“DoS requirements to engage with consumer Departments and other potential end users at an early phase right before setting up and launching the satellite ability so as to minimise non-utilisation of spectrum methods,” the CAG report stated.

The DoS, it felt, desires to create a mechanism for evaluating and reviewing the utilisation of spectrum in all bands, notably in IMT bands and satellite bandwidth for making certain best and effective utilisation of assigned radiowaves.

“DoS might consolidate spectrum-associated info and make it readily available at a typical platform for simple entry and assessment of spectrum at Corporate Infocom degree,” said the report.

The Ministry of Dwelling Affairs ought to devise a coverage for spectrum management among central armed law enforcement forces, it included.

Other than, the DoT can guarantee that public sector undertakings, these kinds of as ONGC and GAIL, use the assigned spectrum optimally and effectively and surrender unutilised frequencies.

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