In a new update, it has surfaced that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is finally resorting to Blockchain technology to ‘curb the menace’ of pesky calls and SMS. The regulatory authority even issued an official statement saying “unsolicited commercial communication, or spam, is a major nuisance to telecom subscribers”, and to stop this Trai established a “Do Not Disturb” (DND) registry under regulations made in 2010. As per Trai’s data, 23 crore subscribers opted for DND on the DND registry. “But the problem was not fully contained because unscrupulous elements started obtaining customers’ consent, often surreptitiously, or resorted to use of unregistered telemarketers that call or message from a 10-digit number. In more recent times, the incidence of fraud calls has also been on the rise,” said Trai in a statement.
The newsworthy update here is the fact that now Trai will make use of the Distributed Ledger Technology (or blockchain) as the RegTech over the regulation to make the telemarketers, or spammers comply by the regulations laid down, while at the same time ensuring that innovation keeps happening in the market.
The Trai statement further added “Blockchain has proven useful where the objective is to cryptographically secure information and make it available only on the need to know basis. Yet none may deny their actions or tamper with records, once recorded on the distributed ledger, which uniformly enforces compliance.”
Also, it is vital to understand that the new norms will simply co-regulate the entities while the telcos will establish and arrange framework, which is legally backed by regulation. As remarked in the next statement the Trai said that a crucial part of the project is that authority expects the telcos to guard the interest of their customers.
Trai said “Since the telcos can be expected to guard the interests of their subscribers, Trai has opted for co-regulation to develop the solutions that can better serve the needs of all stakeholders. This would, of course, be allowed only within the framework prescribed in the regulations.”
The new rule will enable the regulatory authority to create a regulatory sandbox within which the innovation in technology solution will happen with compliance to the regulations. This measure is supposed to provide control over all entities in the eco-system.
The new set of measures is also going to aid the Trai vastly in spotting unregistered telemarketers. The draft regulation which is issued today shall be open for comments on June 11, 2018.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.