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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Releases framework for Over the Top (OTT) Communication Services [READ PRESS RELEASE]

By Upendra Malaviya      Sep 16, 2020      0 Comments

On September 14th, 2020 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released Recommendations on “Regulatory Framework for Over- the- top (OTT) Communication Services after going consultation process. TRAI on Monday (September 14, 2020) said that it is the time to set a regulatory framework for various aspects of OTT services beyond the laws and regulations prescribed currently and decided against any immediate regulatory intervention. 

OTT communication services refer to all the internet access services and applications on an operator’s network. Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, and Hike are some of the majorly used OTT platforms. 

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) further said that there are no regulatory interventions needed for securing the privacy and security related issues for OTT services. 

It further said that “It is not an opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework for various aspects of services referred to as OTT services, beyond the extant laws and regulations prescribed presently”.

In November 2018, the regulator had come out with a discussion paper on the regulatory framework for such services where it had sought the industry’s view on multiple issues.

TRAI has now said that market forces may be allowed to respond to the situation without prescribing any regulatory intervention. “However, developments shall be monitored and intervention, as felt necessary, shall be done at the appropriate time,” TRAI said. 

It was the demand of the Telecom companies in India that OTT should also come under the ambit of the regulatory framework, as both are providing similar services without attached licensing obligations such as license fees. 

On the order hand, the OTTs argued that a regulatory regime for them would be a better development and some of these platforms have come under increased scrutiny and the Government is attaining greater accountability.



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