Govt to invest Rs 5,000 cr to boost NE telecom

In a bid to improve the telecom services in the Northeast India, the government will invest Rs 5,000 crore to set up over 8,000 mobile towers in the region. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that improving telecom connectivity in the Northeast is one of the top priorities of the government.

He also said the Telecom Commission had cleared the proposal a few days ago.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India had last year recommended an investment plan to improve services in the Northeast India.

The TRAI recommended a 2% discount on annual license fees for telecom operators that cover at least 80% of habitations with a population of 250 and subsidies for installation of solar power units at telecom towers.

The regulator also recommended investments to provide seamless connectivity across national highways in the Northeast, covering Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

State-run companies BSNL and Power Grid Corporation of India recently signed an agreement to improve telecom connectivity in the region.

Prasad said improving telecom facilities in Naxal-affected areas is also among the government’s priorities.

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