Telecom minister highlights 'public good' element in spectrum pricing
Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday said the “public good” element in spectrum pricing is now widely recognised, leading to a changed thought process that seeks to strike a balance between maximising revenue and maximising services to the poor.
Addressing the CII Partnership Summit 2021, Vaishnaw noted that consultation process on spectrum pricing is currently on, and urged the industry to participate in discussions and offer suggestions to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on the issue.
“They (Trai) will come up with a final document, based on which government will take a decision. But the thought process is that we have to make it affordable. That’s very, very significant change in thinking and Covid made us realise the importance of telecom... everything went digital,” Vaishnaw said.
The nation and the entire society has today recognised that there is a “public good” element in spectrum pricing, Vaishnaw said and recalled that earlier spectrum was seen as a resource which should maximise revenue.
“Today there is a balance in thought process that between maximising revenue and providing maximising service to the poor ... there has to be a balance ... somewhere it should be struck. That balance is today in a consultation process in the country,” he said.
Impact on Big Tech
Listing out various challenges faced by nations across the world, the minister also drew attention to the impact of ‘Big Tech’ on democracies and societies.
“...impact of big tech on our democracy, our society, safety, security of our children... It’s a major thing, the way Big Tech can change our thinking, Big Tech can affect our decision making, can change our behavioural aspects, can make a fundamental difference in any election. So it is a very major challenge that the entire humanity is facing today,” Vaishnaw said.