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Right of Way policy for telecom sector approved

ISLAMABAD: The Right of Way (ROW) Policy for the telecom sector — recently approved by the federal cabinet — clears a large number of hurdles faced by telcos and internet service providers in the installation and maintenance of their telecommunication equipment and expansion of systems across the country.

The policy was approved in a cabinet meeting held on Tuesday. A notification will be issued by the Ministry for Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) that will bound all the provinces and their concerned agencies to facilitate ROW for the telecom sector.

The policy classifies telecom installations as “critical infrastructure”. Damaging telecom infrastructure would be considered sabotage. Cases under criminal and anti-terrorism laws could be filed against the culprit.

The policy has undertaken several key issues based on the concerns expressed by the stake holders to the MoITT.

Federal Minister for IT Syed Aminul Haq said that a one-window operation would facilitate the telecom sector regarding infrastructure development. “The policy will play a pivotal role in fulfilling the vision of Digital Pakistan,” he added.

The minister said that the policy would help fast-track processing for the ROW Policy provisions including space on land and in buildings for the installation of telecom infrastructure.

The policy will cover developed land including roads, footpaths and areas where electricity and railway infrastructures have been installed, as well as non- developed areas like grounds etc.

Under the policy, fee structure has been set up to operate in the required areas to prevent overcharging.

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