Telecom Bill should aim to minimise regulatory burden, overlaps: Nasscom

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) The final Telecom Bill should aim to minimise regulatory burden, uncertainty, and overlaps across different laws in the innovation rich value-added services, IT industry’s apex body Nasscom said on Friday.

The draft Telecommunications Bill 2022 seeks to consolidate and replace three telecom legislations — the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Protection) Act, 1950, a legacy of the colonial era.

“Given that the Bill leaves a lot to be covered through the regulations, it should formalise the concept of risk-based obligations and a consultation-based, transparent and responsive, regulation making process. This could, say, guide the framing of regulations for different types of licenses,” said Ashish Aggarwal, Vice President, Public Policy, Nasscom.

“This will be the key for start-ups and SMEs in the digital space,” he added.

The IT sector’s apex body said it has rolled out internal consultations with the industry to finalise its feedback.

The thrust of the Bill to ease telecom infrastructure expansion and strengthen its quality are the key positives.

“The intent to enable innovation through regulatory sandbox and the focus to promote an ecosystem for sharing, trading and leasing of spectrum, and the flexibility in making it available for various use cases is also welcome,” said Nasscom.

The industry body said it expects the Bill to be suitably strengthened through a process of transparent and meaningful consultation with the stakeholders.

“A future ready Telecommunication Bill will be an important step towards designing a framework which supports regulatory stability, investment, and innovation in the telecom sector,” it added.

IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has sought public comments on the draft bill and the last date is October 20.

In one of the key proposals, the draft Telecommunication Bill 2022 seeks to waive off fees and penalty of telecom and internet service providers.



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