Bengaluru, December 18, 2023: Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the representative body of nearly 600 internet firms, and start-ups has welcomed the Telecom Bill which was tabled in Parliament today.
IAMAI hails the Bill as progressive especially since internet companies have been decisively kept out of the ambit of the final version of the Bill. IAMAI had recommended that the ambit of the Bill be limited to the network layer, thereby excluding the application layer. The time-tested distinction between telecom spectrum controlling entities (which are regulated) and spectrum using companies should be maintained as it has been the basis that has allowed innovation and deeper penetration of the internet in India. Further, IAMAI had recommended that ‘broadcasting services’ should be explicitly exempted from the purview of the Draft Bill and from the definition of ‘telecommunication services’, particularly in respect of content.
The Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha now excludes email, internet-based communication services, broadcasting services, machine to machine communication services and over-the-top (OTT) communication services, as suggested by IAMAI.
The Bill also provisions for administrative assignment of spectrum for Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellites (GMPCS) as suggested by the association. IAMAI had recommended that the Bill should include all satellite communication and usage (including the GMPCS service) within the list of purposes for which spectrum can be assigned through administrative processes.