As per the new regulations mandated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), the companies providing satellite connectivity through gateway setup in India will have to install network equipment as recommended by the government. BSNL is the only telco providing connectivity services through a satellite gateway to authorised agencies such as security forces, oil companies etc.
What Changes Has The Recent Amendment Brought?
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had appointed National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) as the designated authority to oversee the procurement of telecom equipment. The DoT had laid restrictions on telecom operators as well last month but now the amendment has been extended for satellite services as well. Same amendments in the INSAT-MSS reporting services license and VSAT CUG license agreements were announced by DoT.
As per condition 5.1, chapter 1 under the "sui-generis" license agreement, the licensor amended the provision and the operation of the satellite-based services using the gateway installed in India. The amendment was done on March 11 but was updated on DoT's website on Monday.
According to a PTI report, the new norms will come into force from June 15. The satellite operators will require NCSC's permission for up-gradation of existing networks and also for employing the equipment from non-trusted sources. The amendment mandates all telcos to install equipment only from government-approved vendors and sources.
According to DoT, the designated authority (NCSC) will inform the categories of equipment that need to fall into trusted sources for its procurement. Along with the category of equipment, the authority will also notify the associated telecommunication equipment (trusted products).
However, it is to be duly noted that the amendment will not affect the ongoing annual maintenance contracts or updates to existing equipment previously introduced in the network as of the date of effect.
The restrictions might seem to be strict right now but it holds national interest dearly. Indian authorities have been extremely cautious on grounds of the defence of India. Espionage will not be tolerated in India and the Indian government has shown this by amending serious norms against the procurement of resources and from trusted sources as well.