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DoT panel for clipping TRAI powers in telecom licencing issue

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 23:59

New Delhi: Department of Telecommunications is mulling clipping sector regulator TRAI's power on framing licence guidelines and enforcement of licence condition that includes monitoring service quality, network parameters etc.

According to sources, internal committee of Department of Telecommunications, working on TRAI Act Amendment, is of the view that instead of TRAI, the DoT should carry out the task of enforcing licence terms and condition.

This includes monitoring of service quality and parameters for telecom network.

The committee, sources said, is of the view to make changes in TRAI Act that empowers regulator to make recommendation for revocation of license for non-compliance of terms and conditions of licence.

On January 2, TRAI made recommendation on licences that are to be given to new players who have won spectrum in November 2012 auction. The regulator recommended that licence of new companies should be subject to cancellation after fourth major violation, among others.

The TRAI's recommendation contained certain points that were different from what the DoT committed in the legally binding document 'Notice Inviting Application' to the bidders participating in the auction.

At present, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India lays down standards that telecom operators should follow in providing services to consumers and monitors deficiency in calls, Internet speed, consumer complaint redressal etc.

Sources said an internal committee has expressed its view that "...One organisation should carry out the enforcement of licencing terms and conditions."

The measurement of quality of services and network parameters should also be done by DoT and it can be deleted from one of the functions specifically mentioned in TRAI Act 2000, sources added.

The committee, however, is of the view that TRAI "can recommend the quality of service parameters and quality of network parameters."

Sources said the internal committee is also of the view that changes should be made in TRAI Act to allow the regulator to make recommendations on policy for new licencing framework, instead of recommending terms and condition of licences.

The access services cell of DoT, according to sources, has submitted that "it has been noted TRAI has, in the past, made recommendations on new licence regime...These recommendations have only provided broad framework of the licence regime and detailed licences condition have been drawn in the DoT."

It has further said that introduction of a new licence regime is driven by the policy initiative of the government implying that need and timing of introduction of new telecom operator is also part of the policy of the government.


First Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 23:59
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