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DoT floats consultation paper on need for new legal framework

The Department of Telecommunications under the Ministry of Communications has released a consultation paper on the need for a new legal framework in telecom sector, noting that it is important to change colonial-era laws that govern the important sector, and has sought feedback on the discussion paper.

The move has been initiated keeping in mind the significant evolution of technology in the recent decades, the ministry said.

“Legal framework for telecommunication in India is governed by Laws which were enacted long before India’s independence. Technology has evolved significantly in the recent decades. Stakeholders have been demanding evolution of legal framework to keep it in tune with changing technology,” the department of telecommunications said in a statement.

The paper, posted by the department on its website on July 23, talked about the need to reform airwaves allocation, make it easier to build telecom towers and simplify mergers and acquisitions.

Stressing on the need for India to come up with new legal framework, the paper said, “To keep pace with emerging technologies, telecommunication legislation has evolved with time in most jurisdictions. These include United States (1996), Australia (1979), United Kingdom (2003), Singapore (1999), South Africa (2000) and Brazil (1997).”

The consultative paper further noted that with the emergence of new technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, etc. among others, it is important to have a modern and future-ready legal framework which addresses the realities of telecommunication in 21st century India.

In its consultative paper, the department has noted that telecommunication has the potential to unleash the true power of India’s economy, accelerate socio-economic transformation and enable achievement of the vision of an “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat”.

“Telecommunication is an enabler of digital governance that emphasizes data driven and people-centric delivery of goods and services to citizens and enterprises. Universal, resilient, secure, accessible, and affordable telecommunication is indispensable for an inclusive India as we strive towards the ideal of “antyodaya”,” the consultative paper said.

CT Bureau

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