To control Internet-based services, the Department of Telecom unveiled a draught Telecom Bill.

Department of Telecom Introduces Draft Telecom Bill Aimed at Regulating Internet-Based Services

The government is attempting to overhaul the current legislative framework controlling telecom in India through a new draught bill that was introduced by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act of 1950 are being consolidated by the government through the new bill.

The Indian Telecommunications Bill, 2022 is a proposed bill that states that the Center thinks India requires a legal framework compatible with the realities of the twenty-first century.

“The Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 serves as the foundation for the current regulatory structure for the telecommunications industry. Since the invention of the “telegraph,” the nature, purpose, and technology of communication have undergone significant change. 2013 saw the end of “telegraph” worldwide “The note’s explanation stated.

It claimed that new technologies like 4G and 5G, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, M2M communications, and mobile edge computing are now commonplace in society.

India has the second-largest telecom ecosystem in the world, with 117 crore subscribers.

According to the memo, the telecom industry supports more than 4 million jobs and accounts for around 8% of the nation’s GDP.

To create a legal framework that is up to date and flexible, the Ministry of Communications opened a public consultation process. A consultation document titled “The need for a new legal framework controlling telecom in India” was issued in July 2022, and feedback was requested.

The consultation document explains the current legal landscape and relevant problems. The evolution of telecommunications legislation in other nations was addressed in the consultation document.

Since then, feedback has come in from a variety of stakeholders and business organisations. The comments were thoroughly analysed by the Ministry, and the following key themes emerged:

recognising and admitting the need for a new, forward-looking legal system;

the requirement to update the legal framework for communications’ nomenclature and definition of pertinent terminology;

the part a solid legal system can play in guaranteeing the steady introduction of new communications technologies;

Based on the core tenet that spectrum is a natural resource, legal certainty is required for spectrum management, including matters pertaining to use, allocation, and assignment, which must be done in a manner that best serves the public interest;

* The significance of cyber security, national security, and public safety concerns while ensuring constitutional and procedural security; * The alignment of telecommunication standards with international standards and best practises;

the requirement for a certain insolvency structure that permits continued delivery of telecommunications services so long as the licensee pays all dues;

The framework for penalties needs to be rationalised, offering concrete punishments that are unmistakably related to the type of offence and its seriousness.

The government said that the relevant legislation of Australia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and the United States of America were carefully considered while the draught was being written.

According to the draught legislation, effective spectrum management and utilisation must be ensured as a matter of public interest because spectrum is a priceless and unbounded natural resource.

Laws governing the provision, advancement, growth, and operation of telecommunications services will be consolidated and amended under the new Bill. spectrum assignments, networks, and infrastructure for telecommunications.

OTT platforms will be regarded as “telecommunications services” under the new legislation, along with various other new internet-based services.

Broadcasting services, electronic mail, voice mail, voice, video, and data communication services, audio text services, videotex services, fixed and mobile services, Internet and broadband services, satellite-based communication services, Internet-based communication services, air and maritime communication services, interpersonal communication services, and machine-to-machine communication services will now all be included under the definition of “telecommunication services” in addition to OTTs.
The central government will have the sole authority to develop, run, maintain, and expand communications networks and infrastructure, as well as to use, distribute, and assign spectrum, according to the draught bill.

Comments on the proposed legislation must be submitted in writing by email to Naveen Kumar, Joint Secretary for Telecom, by October 20, 2022.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here