Smaller Internet Service Providers (ISP) finally rejoices as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has exempted them from tariff reporting through 59th Amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO), 1999. As per the amendment, the authority has granted the following exemptions to ISPs in respect of tariff reporting requirement:
(i) An ISP shall be exempted from the tariff reporting requirement during a financial year if the total number of its subscribers is less than ten thousand (<10,000) on the last day of the preceding financial year.
(ii) The existing exemption given to access service providers in respect of tariff schemes offered to bulk customer in response to a tender process or as a result of negotiations between the access provider and such bulk customer has been extended to the ISPs also.
According to TRAI, exemption from tariff reporting requirement granted to the small ISPs does not mean that regulatory principles, guidelines, etc. would not apply to them. However, keeping in view the small size of operations and resultant turnover of these small ISPs, the Authority feels that it is quite unlikely that these small-sized ISPs would violate the regulatory principles sought to be achieved by way of tariff reporting, especially in the competitive environment.