According to IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, a Telecom bill is expected to be implemented in 6 to 10 months

According to IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, a Telecom bill is expected to be implemented in 6 to 10 m ...

The new telecom measure, which will replace the 137-year-old Indian Telegraph Act, is expected to be effective in six to five months, but the government is not in a hurry, according to communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The measure also seeks to replace the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.

"It''s time to see a timeline of 6-10 months as a result of the consultation process," Vaishnaw said of the final draft. That draft will then go through committee sessions of Parliament. Then it has to go to Parliament. Then it has to go (to) Parliament. "We are not in a hurry," Vaishnaw said of the timeline for the implementation of the final legislation.

The minister presented the draft measure over 36 minutes of detail.

If the bill is approved, then over-the-top providers such as Whatsapp, Zoom, and Google Duo, who provide calling and messaging services may require licenses to operate in the country.

Despite the government''s desire to include the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in its licensing framework for internet and calling messages, the bill manifests the government''s intent to introduce the OTT apps under the licensing regime.

"OTT already comes under scrutiny due to its interpretation of a telegraph. The consultation process for its regulation has already begun. This bill is to ensure that there will be a strict effective regulation in the areas where required, and in other locations there will be light touch regulation," said the minister.

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If all Internet calling and messaging apps are under telecom licence license, the bill would allow you to follow the Know Your Customers (KYC) clause.

The minister said the first fundamental assumption in the measure is about protection of users, and every consumer has the right to know who is making the call.

"If calls can be made from different platforms then every platform must comply with the same kind of regulatory," Vaishnaw said. This is not only in India, but this is the world''s thought process. Technology has brought so many changes, that the distinction between voice and data call has gone.

KYC regulations will help in reducing cyber fraud, according to him.

During the acquisition of services from operators, the minister said it is fundamental for users to provide adequate information.

The minister said that telecom service providers will be given the option to change to the new rule.The new Telecom Bill has proposed a one-year prison term for giving false identity for using telecom services, while increasing the amount of the penality of telecom operators to Rs. 5 crore per circle imposed today. The penalty is expected to range from zero to a maximum of Rs. 5 crore.

The government in the legislation has proposed a mechanism to waive telecom and Internet service providers'' fees and penalties.

In the end, Vaishnaw said the government will focus on continuity of service if a business goes for insolvency, and at the end the spectrum will come back to the government.

The bill provides an opportunity for the Centre to address payment limitations of a licensee, a registered entity, or a successor.

In a matter of extraordinary circumstances, the government may choose to defer due payments, convert a portion or all of the amounts into shares of the corporation, write-off the amount or a part thereof, or even relieve the amount.

In the event that a telecom or internet provider fails to disclose its license, the draft also requires a fee refund.