Draft Of New Telecom Bill Presented, Internet Based Services Can Be Regulated

61
23 Sep 2022
6 min read

News Synopsis

The Department of Telecom has introduced a new draft bill through which the government wants to change the existing legal framework governing telecom in India. The government wants to consolidate the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wire (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950, through a new bill. The Center is of the view that India needs a new legal framework for the telecom sector in line with the realities of the 21st century. In the explanatory note to the proposed bill, it has been named the Indian Telecom Bill, 2022.

The Draft Bill also said the Central Government shall have the exclusive privilege to provide telecommunication services, establish, operate, maintain and expand telecommunication network and telecommunication infrastructure, and use, allocate and assign spectrum.

An explanatory note issued by the Department of Telecommunications states that the current regulatory framework for the telecom sector is based on the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885. The nature of telecommunications, its uses, and technologies have undergone a massive change since the era of the telegraph. The world has stopped using telegraphs since 2013.

The bill also suggests that auctions will be the primary method for allocating spectrum, but it also establishes a framework that permits the assignment of spectrum for radio backhaul spectrum and airwaves for government and public interest sectors, such as transportation, research, and defense, through administrative procedures or other non-auction methods.

Additionally included in the non-auction allocation were the airwaves for the public sector organizations MTNL and BSNL. In such circumstances, the government will specify the frequency range, pricing system, price, fees, charges, payment method, time frame, and procedure.

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