TRAI will Hold its Power in the Indian Telecom Sector

The DoT may soon bring a revised version of the telecom draft bill after factoring in comments from the stakeholders and which would again include Section 11 of the TRAI Act. In addition, the revised bill would specify and clearly define the over-the-top communication players that would be brought under regulation.

Highlights

  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been an integral part of the Indian telecom industry 0ver the last few decades.
  • The regulatory body has been working hand in hand with the government to ensure that consumers' interests are always protected.
  • The telecom draft bill would be very crucial as it would, for the first time, bring OTT players under regulation.

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been an integral part of the Indian telecom industry 0ver the last few decades. The regulatory body has been working hand in hand with the government to ensure that consumers' interests are always protected. But the recent telecom draft bill 2022 was trying to dilute the power of the sector regulator. It brought concerns and confusion among the stakeholders in the industry. But now, it may happen that the clause which was trying to dilute the power of TRAI will be dropped from the revised telecom draft bill 2022.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) might bring the provision in the draft telecom bill that requires the govt to seek reconsideration of TRAI's recommendations it has rejected or doesn't agree with and then give a proper reason for that, said an ET report.

As per the report, the DoT may soon bring a revised version of the telecom draft bill after factoring in comments from the stakeholders and which would again include Section 11 of the TRAI Act. In addition, the revised bill would specify and clearly define the over-the-top communication players that would be brought under regulation. There would also be changes in the way the spectrum is allotted. With the revised telecom draft bill 2022, the government would clear up a lot of things and misunderstandings.

The report mentions that TRAI and DoT officials had discussions, and they have decided to keep the existing provisions that ensure that TRAI's powers are not diluted in the sector.

The telecom draft bill would be very crucial as it would, for the first time, bring OTT players under regulation. Further, the industry would be looking forward to the government's decision on how the spectrum should be allotted to different players. The confusion has become too big with the satcom (satellite communication) players also looking to purchase the spectrum for providing broadband from space services.

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