The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today issued revised guidelines for the registration of Infrastructure Providers – Category-I (IP-I). Infrastructure Providers Category-I includes those infrastructure providers who provide assets such as dark fibers, Right of Way, duct space and tower.
The revised guidelines state that IP-I applicants must be a registered Indian company with FDI upto 100 percent allowed under automatic route subject although the same is subject to certain conditions. The foreign investment conditions mandate that entites from a country sharing land border with India or where the beneficial owner of an investment into India is situated or a citizen of any such country can invest only under the Government route.
Apart from this, the transfer of ownership of existing or future FDI in an entity in India, resulting in the beneficial ownership failing within the restrictions shall require Government approval. The direct and indirect foreign investment in the applicant company is counted for the purpose of calculating the total FDI.
IP-I applicants further need to comply with the relevant provisions of extant FDI policy of the Government which may take into account security concerns while approving the investment proposals. The applicant companies have to make their own arrangement for Right of Way (RoW).
DoT will intimate the applicant companies about the rejection or approval of the application within 15 days of submission of the application while the registration for IP-I shall on be on non-exclusive basis without any restriciton on the number of entrants.
The IP-I registered companies will be provide dark fibres, Right of Way, duct space, towers on lease/rent out/sale basis to licensees of telecom services on mutually agreed term and conditions with such agreements entered into with the telecom service providers mandated to be reported to the Telecom Department within 15 days of signing of such agreement. The revised guidelines further mandate IP-I registered companies to provide use of infrastructure in a non-discriminatory manner.