Telecom bill provides roadmap for industry restructuring, innovation
Aiming to tighten its grip on video communication and calling apps, the Centre has proposed to bring Meta-owned WhatsApp, Zoom, and Google Duo under the ambit of telecom license, as written in the draft of the Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022.
The draft bill was put up on social media by IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.
However, the government has proposed to give exemption to press messages that are intended to be published in India by correspondents accredited to the Central or state governments from being intercepted.
In another significant clause, the draft bill, released late Wednesday, proposes to waive off fees and penalties of telecom and internet service providers. It also proposes a refund of fees if an internet or telecom service provider offers to surrender the license.
“For the provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license,” according to the draft. The last date for public comment on the draft is October 20.
The exemption for press messages, though, won’t be given in case of any public emergency or in the interest of public safety, sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or to prevent incitement to an offense, the draft read.
The draft bill says that the Centre may “waive off in part or full any fee, including entry fees, license fees, registration fees or any other fees or charges, interest, additional charges or penalty” for any license holder or registered entity under the telecom rules.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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