Restrictions on movement due to the coronavirus are not just affecting bandwidth demand and base station rollout in India. Now telecommunications tower companies are looking for guarantees of uninterrupted power supply for the duration of the lockdown.
The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has asked the Indian Power Ministry to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply and allow new connections on a priority basis for telecommunications sites during the lockdown.
TAIPA was constituted in 2011 as an industry representative body. All leading independent telecommunications infrastructure providers, such as Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers, ATC India Tower Corp, GTL Infrastructure, Tower Vision and Reliance Infrastructure, are members of the society, which sees itself as the official voice for the telecommunications infrastructure industry.
The group made a number of requests in its letter to India’s power secretary, Sanjiv Nandan Sahai. It has sought support from the various state electricity distribution groups, along with uninterrupted power supply for telecommunications towers. This is essential, it pointed out, for continued operation of telecommunications services.
The group asked the power ministry not to take coercive action such as disconnection, and waive any penalties during the lockdown period, also requesting, according to Indian news reports, urgent intervention and support from the Ministry of Power in order to ensure the rollout of the telecommunications network at a faster pace in the country’s various states.