Telecoms Request High Authorities to Reduce ‘Right of Way’ Rates

In a letter written to chief of army staff, federal secretary, and secretary ministry of information technology (MoIT), Officials have pointed that the telecom industry is facing hurdles in expanding the optical fiber cable network as exorbitant ‘right of way’ (RoW) charges have catapulted the cost of leasing transmission infrastructure. Telecoms Request High Authorities to Reduce ‘Right of Way’ Rates.

The industry has also requested them to intervene, because all their efforts made are not helpful.

Telecoms Request High Authorities to Reduce ‘Right of Way’ Rates

The official urges in letter that the government as a matter of urgency must come to the aid of operator and internet service providers by creating an enabling environment and formulate policy where Infrastructure should be interconnected to provide redundancy.

A top industry official said:

“It has been over a year since the industry sought army chief’s help on the RoW issue. The industry had approached him through a letter highlighting the issues of levy of RoW charges by the military authorities and cantonment boards on telecom operators, but to no avail,”

The issues of high-rents on military lands by garrisons, DHAs and Askari Housing schemes, and high antenna fee by cantonment boards were highlighted with the COAS through an industry letter duly signed by CEOs of all five major players of telecom industry including Mobilink/Jazz, Telenor, Ufone, Zong/CmPak and PTCL. The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and cantonment boards have been asked for processing clearance of mobile towers.

The official added:

“The field of fiber optics especially with respect to telecommunication is a rapidly changing world in which, seemingly, each day a new product or technology is introduced. The use of and demand for the optical fiber has grown tremendously in the recent years in Pakistan. “Fiber optics, with its comparatively infinite bandwidth, has proven to be the solution. Telecom companies were facing numerous challenges in laying optical fiber cables due to certain restrictions and bureaucratic issues

It has been suggested by industry official that the government must go beyond granting of licenses for eliminating barriers such as bottlenecks in securing RoW, impediments to smooth network operations.

Read Next: Govt Should be Collecting More Taxes from Telcos: DG FBR


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