Tuesday, March 13, 2012

National Telecom Policy 2012 Of India

The national telecom policy of India 2012 is in pipeline. It is in continuation of its precursor i.e. the national telecom policy of India 2011. It has incorporated many far reaching reforms that if accepted can really streamline the telecom sector of India.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has done a good job by combining the suggestions and recommendations of various stakeholders. In fact, the proposed national telecom policy 2012 of India is an improvement over the policy suggested in 2011.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) provided its techno legal public inputs in this regard and many of them have been endorsed by TRAI. TRAI has also accepted many suggestions of Perry4Law on telecom policy of India.

Some of the suggestions of Perry4Law and PTLB that have been accepted by TRAI pertain to issues like establishing servers in India, establishing cloud computing legal framework in India, establishment of telecom security in India, reconciling privacy rights and law enforcement requirements, reconciling privacy rights and national security requirements, adoption of lawful interception methods, telecom dispute resolution reforms in India, crisis management and emergency response services, delivery of e-services in a time bound manner, digitisation of governmental records, establishing cloud computing best practices in India, encryption and privacy issues of cloud computing, establishing a centralised monitoring system in India, etc.

However, these are very broad and important aspects that require suitable modification of the constitution and powers of TRAI so that TRAI can fulfill the commitments and policies that have been suggested in the 2012 policy.

Fortunately, the Telecom Commission has agreed to grant to TRAI the powers to penalise the defaulters. If finally approved by the appropriate authority, TRAI will be able to summon companies and individuals, call for evidence and even seek expert advice while conducting an enquiry, in order to ensure that telecom companies comply with rules, especially those concerning phone users in the country.

This is a much needed power that should be conferred upon TRAI so that it can perform its functions and duties more efficiently. Perry4Law and PTLB welcome this move and wishes TRAI all the best in this regard and hope that TRAI would emerge as a super regulator in the field it is managing.

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