The new Telecom Bill 2022 will help restrict cases of cyber fraud in the country, underlined Ashwini Vaishnaw, communications, and electronics and information technology minister, said on Friday.
Presenting a draft of the bill to the media, Vaishnaw said the bill aims at a minimum but effective regulation, regulatory certainty, protection of users, promoting innovation and employment, and a robust mechanism for ROW (right of way).
“Protection of users is a major aim of this bill. KYC and identification of users will ensure the protection of users. The draft is uploaded for a basic consultation, then it will go to the Parliament and discussion will take place. The whole process will take around six to 10 months,” he said.
The features of the bill include a regulatory sandbox, which is a set of special terms and conditions to promote innovation. It will facilitate the development of telecom technologies and will empower the startup ecosystem.
“We are bringing an important change through the telecommunication development fund. Today, India has all the capabilities to become a leader in telecom technology. While keeping this in mind, the decision is taken to expand USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) ambit.”
Spectrum is the basic raw material of Telecom services. If we have to make India a very important power in Telecom technology, then we need to have a framework which allows efficient and very effective use of Spectrum, he added.
Basic features of draft of Telecom Bill 2022
1) Protection of users
Protection from unsolicited messages, enabling provisions for DND registers
Identity of caller to be visible to receiver to prevent frauds
It’ll be the duty of the user to give correct KYC information
2) Regulatory Certainty
All existing rules, regulations, exemptions to continue
No retrospective amendment to T&C
Existing license to continue
Existing registration to continue
Existing spectrum to continue
3) Breach of T&C
Alternative dispute resolution framework
Voluntary undertaking mechanism for breach of T&C
Graded penalties proportionate to the breach
4) Right Of Way (RoW)
Legal backing for uniform & non-discriminatory RoW
Enabling provisions to establish common ducts
Telecom infra to be different from the property it is installed on
5) Restructuring & Insolvency
Mere intimation required for M&A, no permission to be required
Merged firm to follow all the obligations
Special nature of Spectrum
Focus on continuity of service & realisation if value of spectrum
Framework to address defaults in the payment
7) Ambit of Universal Services Obligatory Fund to be expanded
USOF to be used for R&D, development of new technologies & standards as well
8) Set of special T&C to promote innovation & R&D through Regulatory Sandbox
This will benefit startups