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Telecom Bill leaves a lot to be covered through regulations: NASSCOM

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After the Ministry of Communications released the new Telecommunications Bill, 2022, industry body NASSCOM (The National Association of Software and Service Companies) in a statement said that the new telecom law leaves a lot to be covered through regulations.

The Government in a step towards designing a new telecom framework in India, sought to consolidate and replace three telecom legislations -- Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933 and The Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Protection) Act, 1950, a legacy of the colonial era, through the Bill.

Commenting on the Bill, Ashish Aggarwal, Vice President, Public Policy, NASSCOM, said “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 licences, he said. The final Bill should aim to minimise regulatory burden, uncertainty, and overlaps across different laws in the innovation-rich value-added services, he added.

This will be the key for start-ups and SMEs in the digital space, Aggarwal said. "We have rolled out our internal consultations with the industry to finalise our feedback," he added.

We expect the Bill to be suitably strengthened through a process of transparent and meaningful consultation with the stakeholders, Aggarwal said. "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," he said, in a statement.

The thrust of the Bill, as per the Government, is to ease telecom infrastructure expansion and strengthen its quality. The intent of the Government is to enable innovation through regulatory sandbox and the focus is to promote an ecosystem for sharing, trading and leasing of spectrum, and the flexibility in making it available for various use cases.

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