India seeks to modernise telecom industry through new bill | Asian Telecom
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India seeks to modernise telecom industry through new bill

Some of the sector’s current regulation is based on century-old law

The Indian parliament has passed the landmark Telecommunications Bill 2023 which aims to update and modernise the country’s telecom law, and is now for the President’s assent.

Local reports said that the legislation, which was already cleared by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) and Rajya Sabha (Upper House), will allow the government to temporarily take control of telecom services in the interest of national security.

The new bill is expected to streamline the licensing system in the telecom sector, making it investor-friendly while still prioritizing user protection and extending power to the government to intercept communications.

It also covers areas including spectrum management, right of way (RoW) rules, enforcement, dispute resolution, and consumer protections. The bill maintains that spectrum for certain satellite services will be assigned via an administrative process rather than a public auction.

If passed, the bill will repeal and replace the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act of 1933, and the Telegraph Wires Act of 1950, on which the current regulatory structure of the sector are based.

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