A fresh start for Telecom in New India

The latest draft of the law, which calls for light-touch regulation and accountability, prioritises protecting customers or users while also attempting to resolve some contentious issues through a consultation process.

The proposed bill also aimed to reduce regulations, prevent uncertainty, and provide federal framework support for right-of-way, which remains a barrier to the rollout and growth of telecom infrastructure.

The Center also emphasises some important concerns by placing them inside the purview of the legislation, such as spectrum management and over-the-top (OTT) applications.

Except for a few public sector uses, the department led by Vaishnav has offered legal support for the sale of spectrum, such as the bands for space internet services.

The move has clarified, put rumours to rest, and supported the same-service, same-rules philosophy to prevent more lawsuits.

On the other hand, over-the-top (OTT) players like Facebook, Google, and WhatsApp have merged into the realm of telecommunication services with a lax regulatory structure. To compete fairly, telecom service providers claim that mobile apps not only harm their company but also use their networks for free.

The agency suggested altering the terms and conditions of the licence structure to make conducting business easier and draw funds to the industry. Instead of laborious and time-consuming historical processes, a licence, registration, or authorization would now be necessary for a company to open its doors.

Insolvency and other corporate changes like reorganization have also been considered. Although it encourages compliance with legal responsibilities, merger and acquisition (M&A) is portrayed as a straightforward procedure requiring only notification rather than authorization.

To significantly reduce privacy violations, a simplified know-your-customer (KYC) regime is in the works. It encourages 100% compliance, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls.

Before the proposal is officially reviewed by the Parliament in the early part of the next year, the Center asks stakeholders and consumer groups to evaluate it and provide feedback on the draft law.

This truly feels like a fresh beginning that fits with New India.