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Trai starts consultation on tariff issues during disasters

The telecom regulator on Wednesday released a consultation paper to discuss tariff-related issues for SMS and cell broadcast alerts disseminated through Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) platform during disasters and non-disasters.

The telecom department allows SMS and cell broadcast free of cost only for a definite period and for events where a specific request for free of cost messages comes from specific nodal authorities. ”However, there are occasions when the Government would like to send alert messages to the public forewarning of a possible disaster or occasions where the public has to be informed of special events such as holding of relief/ vaccine/ medical camps/ specific law and order related situations etc,” regulator Trai said in a statement.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) further said the purpose of the latest consultation paper is to elicit stakeholders’ views on the tariff for SMS/cell broadcast disseminated by telecom service providers through the CAP platform during disasters and non-disasters. It also aims to understand the technical aspects that might have an impact on the cost of the service.

”Department of Telecom has requested TRAI to provide tariff for SMS and Cell Broadcast alerts/messages to be disseminated by telecom service providers through CAP platform during disasters/ non-disasters,” the statement added.

The regulator has invited written comments by December 1, and counter-comments by December 15, 2021. PTI

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