The Department ofTelecommunications (DoT) has proposed removal of the license fee for fixed line broadband services, including IPTV, for the next 10 years, according to media reports.
The proposal is aimed to promote proliferation of the high-speed internet services across the country, especially rural and remote areas. The exemption of license fee will allow service providers to invest more in fibre, leading to wider coverage via wire line services. The final decision will be taken in a meeting of the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) scheduled for May 12, according to sources.
The current license fee is 8% on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for fixed line broadband-voice, internet and video including IPTV.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), in its recommendations in 2021 after a consultation paper titled ‘Road to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed’, had suggested exemption in license fee for a specified period of time but had raised concerns over misuse as well.
TRAI had proposed a target-linked incentive i.e. License fee exemption on specified revenue to eligible licensees for proliferation of fixed-line broadband services in urban and rural areas.
“The proposed incentives should be linked to the revenue earned from fixed-line connections provided to subscribers. It would pose fewer interpretation challenges,” TRAI said.