The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) on Monday recommended that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may design a Spectrum Allocation and Allocation Policy for Captive Users/Other Commercial Uses as per statements made in the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP)-2018 and end adhocism in the allocation of spectrum to government departments/agencies.
The DoT may also revise the spectrum pricing mechanism for captive users to incentivize Ministries/Departments/Agencies to maintain spectrum management discipline. They can consider tiered pricing based on the characteristics and usage of different spectrum bands, he said in a report.
The performance audit report on “Management of spectrum allocated on an administrative basis to government departments/agencies” was tabled in Parliament on April 7 (Rajya Sabha) and Monday in Lok Sabha. “This report contains important observations and recommendations emanating from the performance audit carried out,” he said.
The CAG further observed that after the 2012 Supreme Court ruling in the 2G case that spectrum being a valuable natural resource should be auctioned wherever there is demand, there had been a mechanism purpose for the allocation of spectrum to needy users for captive uses and commercial services other than telecommunications access services.
“This has led to spectrum allocation delays and denials, causing uncertainty among potential users. Pricing policies for administrative spectrum allocation had not been reviewed since 2012, based on usage and spectrum demand. The DoT had not established a standing committee/group to advise them on complex spectrum management issues, including the reallocation of spectrum for efficient and optimal use of the scarce resource,” did he declare.
The CAG indicated that the DoT may consider international best practices in spectrum management, for appropriate incorporation of such best practices for spectrum management in India and that the Department of Space (DoS) and the DoT should work together to identify an appropriate technological solution in such a context. so that the two services can coexist in important frequency bands.
In addition, the DoS should establish a mechanism to assess and review spectrum usage in all bands, especially in the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) bands and satellite bandwidth to ensure optimal usage. and efficiency of the assigned spectrum.
The Department of the Interior can develop spectrum management policy among central armed police forces and the DoT can ensure that PSUs like ONGC and Gail make optimal and efficient use of assigned spectrum and give up unused frequencies, a- he added.
July 18, 2022