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TRAI invites comments on regulation, selective banning of OTT

TRAI invites comments on regulation, selective banning of OTT
Photo Credit : IANS

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Friday released a Consultation Paper on Regulatory Mechanism for Over-The-Top (OTT) communication services and the selective banning of OTT Services.

It said that the Department of Telecommunications (DOT), through a letter dated September 7 last year, had requested the TRAI to reconsider its recommendations on Regulatory Framework for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communication Services dated September 14, 2020 and suggest a suitable regulatory mechanism for OTTs, including issues relating to “selective banning of OTT services” as part of its recommendations.

The TRAI said that through the letter, the DoT has also mentioned that “in view of the humongous growth of OTT services in the recent past and these services having reached a matured stage, there is a need to holistically look into the various aspects of these services including regulatory, economic, security, privacy, and safety aspects”.

“This is also in keeping with para 2.2 of the National Digital Communications Policy – 2018 which mentions the policy goal of ‘Ensuring a holistic and harmonised approach for harnessing Emerging Technologies’. It has been mentioned therein that a policy framework for ‘Over the Top’ services will be developed,” it said.

It also said that in response to the DoT letter of September last year, the TRAI, through its letter on November 1 last year, conveyed to the DoT that “the Authority is of the view that a fresh consultation process may be initiated to frame suitable regulatory framework for OTT”.

“In this regard, a Consultation Paper on Regulatory Mechanism for Over-The-Top (OTT) Communication Services, and Selective Banning of OTT Services, seeking inputs from stakeholders, has been placed on the TRAI’s website. Written comments on the issues raised in the Consultation Paper are invited from stakeholders by August 4 and counter comments by August 18,” it said.

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