Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider Authorization | 11 Aug 2023

Source: PIB

Why in News?  

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)  recently released recommendations on ‘Introduction of Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider Authorization under Unified License (UL). 

  • These recommendations are in alignment with the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP-2018), which underscores the pivotal role of digital infrastructure in driving economic growth and improving the quality of life.  

What are the Major Recommendations of TRAI?  

  • Creation of DCIP Authorization: TRAI recommends the creation of a new category of license, the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Provider (DCIP) Authorization.  
    • This authorization allows for the creation of both active and passive digital connectivity infrastructure. 
    • The DCIP authorization is not a standalone license but falls under the Unified License framework. This move aims to encourage the emergence of players specialized in creating active and passive DCI. 
      • Unified License offers service-wise authorizations, where licensees establish networks and use them to provide services.  
  • Scope of DCIP Authorization: The scope of the proposed DCIP authorization is extensive, covering the ownership, establishment, maintenance, and operation of various components such as Wireline Access Network, Radio Access Network (RAN), Wi-Fi systems, Transmission Links etc. 
    • However, it excludes core network elements and  spectrum
  • Self-Regulation and Compliance: To ensure compliance with security conditions, Quality of Service (QoS), and other license obligations, TRAI proposes a principal-agent relationship between DCIPs and licensed entities.  
  • Sharing of Infrastructure: DCIP licensees are allowed to share their infrastructure with other UL licensees and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), subject to certain conditions.  
    • This sharing fosters increased collaboration, cost reduction, and efficient service delivery. 
  • Access to Eligible Entities: DCIP licensees are recommended to provide DCI items, equipment, and systems on lease/rent/sale basis to entities with valid licenses under the Telegraph Act 1885 and those notified by the Government for this purpose. 
    • This extends to DCIP licensees who are also licensed under the Electricity Act, promoting access to their infrastructure on an access rights basis. 

What is the Significance of Digital Connectivity Infrastructure?  

  • About:  
    • In the modern age of digital transformation, digital connectivity infrastructure has emerged as a cornerstone of economic growth, social progress, and technological innovation as highlighted in NDCP-2018. 
    • TRAI’s recent recommendations aim to establish a framework for integrating DCI into building development plans, analogous to other essential services like water, electricity, and fire safety systems.  
  • Significance:  
    • Facilitating Communication and Information Flow: Digital connectivity infrastructure, including broadband networks and mobile services, enables instant communication across geographical boundaries. 
      • It facilitates the exchange of information, ideas, and knowledge, contributing to the growth of education, research, and innovation. 
    • Driving Economic Growth: Digital connectivity is a catalyst for economic development by providing businesses with access to a global marketplace. 
      • E-commerce, online services, and digital platforms leverage connectivity to reach customers and streamline operations, leading to increased trade and economic activity. 
    • Empowering Digital Services: The availability of high-speed internet and reliable connectivity is essential for the deployment of digital services such as telemedicine, e-governance, and online education. 
      • These services improve accessibility, efficiency, and inclusivity, enhancing overall quality of life. 
    • Enhancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Digital connectivity infrastructure fosters innovation by enabling collaboration, data sharing, and remote work. 
      • Entrepreneurs can leverage online platforms to develop and launch innovative products and services, contributing to economic diversification. 
    • Supporting Industry Transformation: Industries like manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare are undergoing digital transformation, relying on connectivity to implement automation, IoT, and data analytics. 
      • Smart factories, precision agriculture, and telemedicine are just a few examples of how connectivity is revolutionizing traditional sectors. 
    • Bridging the Digital and Social Divide: Digital connectivity infrastructure helps bridge the digital divide by providing previously underserved or remote areas with access to information, education, and economic opportunities. 
      • It contributes to social inclusion and reduces inequalities by ensuring that all segments of society can benefit from technological advancements. 
    • Minimum Government Maxmium Governance: It enables the streamlined implementation of various governmental initiatives, such as Digital India, Make in India, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), and the development of Smart Cities. 

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year’s Question (PYQs) 


Q. Consider the following statements about G-20: (2023) 

  1. The G-20 group was originally established as a platform  for the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors  to discuss the international economic and financial issues. 
  2. Digital public infrastructure is one of India's G-20  priorities. 

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

(a) 1 only   
(b) 2 only  
(c) Both 1 and 2   
(d) Neither 1 nor 2 

Ans: (c)