Telecom Act marks historic shift, Ushering in a new era of connectivity

Pillars of Progress: Samavesh, Suraksha, Vriddhi and Tvarit

GN Bureau | July 6, 2024


#Telecome   #Techology   #Law  
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)
(Illustration: Ashish Asthana)

The Telecommunication Act 2023, which came into effect on Friday, aims to amend and consolidate the law relating to development, expansion and operation of telecommunication services and telecommunication networks; assignment of spectrum; and for matters connected therewith. The new law also seeks to repeal existing legislative framework like Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and Indian Wireless Telegraph Act 1933 owing to huge technical advancements in the telecom sector and technologies.

The Union Government on July 4 issued Gazetted Notification for enforcing section 6-8, 48 and 59(b) of the Telecommunications Act 2023 with effect from July 5.

Guided by the principles of Samavesh (Inclusion), Suraksha (Security), Vriddhi (Growth), and Tvarit (Responsiveness), the Act aims to achieve the vision of Viksit Bharat (Developed India).

The Telecommunications Act, 2023, was passed by the parliament in December 2023, received the assent of the president of India on December 24, 2023 and was published in the official Gazette on the same day. Sections 1, 2, 10-30, 42-44, 46, 47, 50-58, 61 and 62 of the Act have already been brought into force w.e.f. 26thJune, 2024 vide Notification No.2408(E) dated 21st June, 2024 in the Gazette of India.

The salient features of the sections that have been brought into force with effect from July 5 are:

1.    Optimal utilization of spectrum: The Act provides legal framework for efficient utilization of scarce spectrum through processes such as secondary assignment, sharing, trading, leasing and surrender of spectrum. It also enables the utilisation of spectrum in a flexible, liberalised and technologically neutral manner. It also empowers the Central Government to establish an enforcement and monitoring mechanism for the purpose.

2.    Prohibition of use of equipment which block telecommunications: The Acts prescribes, with immediate effect, the use of any equipment which blocks telecommunication, unless permitted by the Central Government.

3.    Criteria for appointment as Chairperson and Members of TRAI: Section 59(b) of the Act will amend section 4 of the TRAI Act 1997 and prescribes criteria for appointment of Chairperson and Members of TRAI.
 
One major aspect that is being covered in the latest notification is the Focus of the Central Government on increasing efficiency in spectrum utilization and various modes of achieving the same like secondary assignment, sharing/trading etc.

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