According to the new government plan, India’s telecommunications infrastructure, including towers and fiber optic cables, will be “geotagged” to help better respond to emergencies and natural disasters.
The Ministry of Telecommunications hopes to complete the geographical marking of communication infrastructure by 2027. It will coordinate with state governments and other departments to collect geotagged data.
Communication infrastructure is often damaged in disasters, and operators need to quickly restore services to help government agencies provide emergency and medical support. Geographical markers should help with this process.
Drawing a map of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure will also help government agencies identify areas that are not yet connected and take measures to provide connectivity in these areas.BSNL
It will also be aligned with an initiative launched by the Indian government aimed at promoting the country’s digital infrastructure, Digital India. Geotagging can accelerate the work of projects that require telecommunications infrastructure as a foundation.
According to the Digital Infrastructure Providers Association of India (DIPA), as of June 2023, there are approximately 794114 telecommunications towers and 3726577 kilometers of fiber optic networks in India.
Before expanding to major private enterprises, geotagging may start with government owned service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). The challenge here may be to overcome the unwillingness of these operators to share data, especially in fiber optic networks. The government also needs to take measures to ensure that data is not abused.