telecom bill: the telecom bill leaves a lot to be covered by regulation: NASSCOM

After the Ministry of Communications released the new Telecommunications Bill, 2022, the industry body NASSCOM (The National Association of Software and Services Companies) said in a statement that the new telecommunications law leaves a lot to be covered by regulation.

The government, in a step towards designing a new telecommunications framework in India, has sought to consolidate and replace three telecommunications laws — Indian Telegraph Act1885, indian Wireless Telegraphy Act1933 and The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Protection) Act, 1950, a legacy from the colonial era, through the Bill.

Commenting on the bill, Ashish AgarwalVice President, Public Policy, NASSCOM said, “As the bill leaves much to be covered by regulation, it should formalize the concept of risk-based obligations and a consultation-based regulatory process, transparent and responsive.”

This could, for example, guide the development of regulations for different types of licenses, he said. The final bill should aim to minimize regulatory burden, uncertainty and overlap between different laws in innovation-rich value-added services, he added.

This will be the key for start-ups and SME in the digital space, Aggarwal said. “We have deployed our internal industry consultations to finalize our comments,” he added.

We expect the bill to be appropriately strengthened through a transparent and meaningful consultation process with stakeholders, Aggarwal said. “A future-ready telecommunications bill will be an important step towards designing a framework that supports regulatory stability, investment and innovation in the telecommunications sector,” he said. in a press release.

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The objective of the bill, according to the government, is to facilitate the expansion of the telecommunications infrastructure and to enhance its quality. The government’s intention is to enable innovation through a regulatory sandbox and the focus is on fostering an ecosystem for sharing, trading and leasing spectrum, as well as flexibility to make it available for various use cases.

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