New Delhi: A bill aimed at amending and consolidating key aspects of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act of 1997 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The proposed legislation, titled the “Telecommunication Bill, 2023,” was presented by the Minister of Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, during Monday’s session.
The bill addresses the need to update and streamline laws pertaining to the development, expansion, and operation of telecommunication services and networks. It also includes provisions for the assignment of spectrum. Notably, the bill aims to repeal outdated legislations such as the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.
Despite the importance of the bill, its introduction faced opposition protests, with demands from opposition parties for a statement from Home Minister Amit Shah regarding the recent security breach incident in the parliament on December 13.
The proposed Telecommunication Bill, 2023, outlines a comprehensive framework for the authorization of telecommunication services, networks, and the possession of radio equipment. It also addresses the assignment and efficient utilization of spectrum, including provisions for harmonization and re-farming. Additionally, the bill focuses on fostering the development of new technologies and introduces a regulatory sandbox to encourage innovation using spectrum. Also the bill has provision for the protection of users and defines their users.