TRAI extends deadlines for comments on regulating communication apps

Trai wants views on Lawful Interception obligations in which there is the provision of penalty or imprisonment up to seven years for an intermediary who does not assist the government in an interception

    The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has extended deadlines for receiving comments on 'the Consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over The Top (OTT) Communication apps like WhatsApp and Skype.

    TRAI extends deadlines for comments on regulating communication apps

     

    The regulator had released a Consultation Paper on 'Regulatory Framework for Over The Top (OTT) Communication Services' on 12th November 2018, inviting written comments from stakeholders by 10th December 2018 and counter comments by 24th December 2018.

    "On request from the stakeholders, the last date for receipt of written comments, if any, from the stakeholders, has been extended up to 7th January 2019 and counter comments by 21st January 2019," TRAI said in a statement.

    For those who are not aware, TRAI has come up with this consultation paper in which the regulator sought industry's views on the growth apps. And this can be regarded the same or similar to the services provided by telecom service providers (TSPs), and the relationship between TSPs and OTT players, whether any change is required in the current regulatory framework and the manner in which such changes should be affected, if any.

    Trai wants views on Lawful Interception obligations in which there is the provision of penalty or imprisonment up to seven years for an intermediary who does not assist the government in interception or monitoring.

    It said at present, TSPs are required to pay a one-time non-refundable entry fee prior to the signing of the license agreement.18 Additionally, TSPs are also under an obligation to pay an annual license fee which is a percentage of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR).

    Under the UnifiedLicense Agreement, the license fee currently is 8 percent of the AGR.

    Further, in case the TSPs obtain spectrum, they also pay spectrum related charges, including payment for allotment and use of spectrum, as per provisions specified in the relevant NIA document of the auction of the spectrum or conditions of spectrum allotment/ LoI/ directions/ instructions of the Licensor/ WPC Wing in this regard.

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