New Telecom Bill Will Restrict Cases Of Cyber Fraud: Ashwini Vaishnaw

By: Alok Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: September 23, 2022 20:35

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union minister of Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, on Friday said that the new Telecom Bill 2022 will help in restricting cases of cyber fraud in the country.

While presenting a draft of the bill to the media, Vaishnaw stated that the bill aims for minimal but effective regulation, regulatory certainty, user protection, promoting innovation and employment, and a robust ROW (right of way) mechanism.

“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 place in around six to ten months,” he said.

The Telecom Bill 2022 aims for minimal but effective regulation, regulatory certainty, and a robust right of way mechanism. It will focus on the protection of users and promoting innovation and employment.

The feature of the bill is a regulatory sandbox, which is a set of special terms and conditions to promote innovation. It will facilitate the development of telecom technologies and 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 was taken to expand the USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) ambit,” he said.

“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,” the Union minister said.

The bill seeks to replace three laws: the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.

Basic features of draft of Telecom Bill 2022
1) Protection of users
KYC provisions
Protection from unsolicited messages, enabling provisions for DND registers
Identity of the caller to be visible to the receiver to prevent frauds
It’ll be the duty of the user to give correct KYC information

2) Regulatory Certainty
All existing rules, regulations, and 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 is required for M&A, no permission is required
Merged firm to follow all the obligations

6) Insolvency
Special nature of Spectrum
Focus on continuity of service & realisation of 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

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