The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has urged the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for providing continuous support for telecom services during the pandemic. The industry body has asked the DoT to write to chief secretaries or administrators of states and union territories for allowing free movement of telecom staff for continuous telecom connectivity.
Allow Appropriate Personnel Free Movement During Pandemic, Urges COAI
COAI has requested DoT’s support for ensuring that telecom service providers, internet service providers, infrastructure providers (IPs), their partners (OEMs), and their vehicles to move around for sites, fibre and DTH restoration, call centre operations, tower operations, and other Telecom/internet related infrastructure operations.
Some states like Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, etc., have put restrictions to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the highly contagious and transmissible Omicron variant.
Dr SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, said the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the importance of connectivity. COAI wants to express its sincere thanks to the DoT for all the support during the past at the time of the pandemic for maintaining connectivity, Kocchar added.
“Telecom being an essential service, COAI has requested DoT to issue directions to Chief Secretaries across India to allow the staff/personnel/field engineers of TSPs, ISPs, Infrastructure Providers (IP1s), their Partners (OEMs) and optical fibre maintenance entities who are fully vaccinated must be exempted from the e-pass process and movement is allowed on production of valid Company ID card/ Authorisation letter”, he added.
The requirement of digital connectivity during the pandemic will be of extreme importance. It also helps with the dissemination of all the important announcements and information to the public at large in no time.
During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TSPs and the ISPs did a great job of providing uninterrupted connectivity. With the third-wave potentially in sight, it would again come down to the relevant authorities and the companies for providing seamless connectivity.