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TRAI to Be Renamed as DCRAI: Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha

TRAI’s name will be changed to Digital Communications Regulatory Authority of India (DCRAI), Manoj Sinha said.

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Union MoS Communications Manoj Sinha. 
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New Delhi: The name of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will be changed to Digital Communications Regulatory Authority of India (DCRAI), telecom minister Manoj Sinha said on Wednesday.

"Now, I should address you as Digital Communications Regulator," Sinha told TRAI chairman RS Sharma from the dais at Annual General Meeting of telecom infrastructure body TAIPA.

When asked from when will new name of TRAI be effective, Sinha said: “It will be done soon”.

The minister had earlier in the day shared about the change in name of Telecom Commission – apex decision-making body at the Department of Telecom – to Digital Communications Commission.

At the event, Sinha said that telecom infrastructure had played a vital role in the development of telecom market in the country by "enabling rapid roll out of towers, from a mere one lakh in 2006 to 4.71 lakh currently".

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Sharma said NDCP 2018 is transformational in the sense that it lays down a quantifiable objective – $100 billion investment, 50 Mbps download speeds.

"NDCP talks about creating tower authority. The policy very clearly lays down to prepare India for digital tomorrow," Sharma said.

He said that 93 percent of data transfer is done on wireless networks.

"That is why telecom infrastructure is important. Therefore it is appropriate that we put together all our efforts, if you want to be ready for 5G, you need to put massive infrastructure," Sharma said

TAIPA Chairman Akhil Gupta said that 5G infrastructure will require thousands of more towers. Many of them will be small cell, he said.

He requested the minister to convene a high level conference of ministers and IT secretaries of state.

“We are still being treated as cash cows by many local authorities. If these can be changed... That would enable us (to ensure a ) smooth roll out of infrastructure.”
Akhil Gupta, TAIPA chairman

Department of Telecom special secretary N Sivasailam asked the industry to provide the GIS location of optical fiber for it to be given legal protection.

"There are no Right of Way charges... what we charged were restoration charges. We take permission for three feet but dig four meters, that is where the problem lies," Sivasailam said.

He said that when states raise the integrity question, the DoT becomes speechless.

"States are going to gain most from RoW but once you destroy their property, we don't have any moral right," Sivasailam said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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