Regulatory policy

We have already shared policy recommendations with the DoT for a new telecommunications law

The powers of India’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority have been watered down in a telecommunications bill submitted for consultation by the Department of Telecommunications, according to a analysis by the Broadband India Forum. TRAI met with government officials to discuss this issue, and even, it seems, plans to approach the Prime Minister’s Office to present his case.

Coach obtained a two-page filing by TRAI at a DoT pre-consultation that took place before the bill was released. In the document, the regulator said it was already working on a consultation paper to address the issues the DoT is seeking to legislate and cited industry meetings it had held on the subject.

“TRAI is already in the process of preparing and publishing a comprehensive consultation document covering various policy and regulatory issues to facilitate telecommunications and broadcasting convergence,” wrote Sanjay Kumar, Joint Adviser (BB & PA ), in a submission on August 31. .

“As issues related to the legal framework of the telecommunications sector now encompass the convergence of telecommunications and broadcasting, it may be necessary to broaden the scope of the consultation process beyond the Indian Telegraph Act, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act and Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act,” Kumar wrote. “This requirement […] was also highlighted by various stakeholders during a recent brainstorming session with service providers and industry associations from the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, organized by TRAI on 01.08.2022, in New Delhi.

TRAI also cited contributions it had sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Informatics and NITI Aayog on the subject (these attachments were not provided to Coach; we asked for a copy).

“Furthermore, TRAI has already sent a comprehensive proposal for amendments to the TRAI Act 1997 to the DoT with due regard to the regulatory practices followed in other regulatory bodies in India as well as in the telecommunications regulatory bodies of many countries around the world,” TRAI said. . It is unclear what this overall proposal is; the TRAI letter does not mention when it sent such representation.

The last reported case of the DoT considering an amendment to the TRAI Act dates back to 2013. Although the TRAI Act was indeed amended in 2014, this amendment was relatively minor, focusing only on the term of office of the President. Coach filed a copy of the proposed amendments.

(This article is part of our coverage of responses to a Department of Telecommunications pre-consultation on a new telecommunications legislative framework. A subsequent consultation for a proposed telecommunications bill is currently underway. You can read our coverage of other comments here: American Chamber of Commerce in India, jioand Airtel.)