New Telecom Act comes into effect in India: What has changed, how does it affect you

09:54PM Thu 27 Jun, 2024

The Telecommunications Act 2023 will come into effect on June 26. It replaced the Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act of 1933. This new law reflects the significant advancements in the telecom sector and aims to change the regulatory environment to address contemporary challenges.

Key Changes Introduced

–According to a report by The Economic Times, one major change is that the government now has more power to take over telecom services or networks in emergencies. This can be for security, public order, or to prevent crimes. The Act highlights how important telecom is for empowering people but also acknowledges it can be misused. To protect users, it includes rules against unwanted commercial messages and sets up a system for handling complaints.

–The new law says that any telecom company wanting to set up or operate a network, provide services, or use radio equipment must get government approval. This is to ensure national security and promote Indian technology. The Act also lets the government set standards for telecom services and networks to ensure high security and quality.

–The Act expands the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to support services in underserved rural, remote, and urban areas. It will also fund research and development of new telecom services and technologies, ensuring that even the most underserved areas have access to essential telecom services.

How It Affects You

The new Act brings several benefits and changes that will impact users directly:

–Improved Security and Quality: With the government's ability to set standards and assess conformity, users can expect higher security and quality in telecommunication services.
–Better Protection Against Unsolicited Communication: The Act includes measures to protect users from unwanted commercial communication, enhancing the overall user experience.
-Access to Services in Remote Areas: The expanded USOF ensures that even remote and underserved areas will have access to essential telecommunication services.
–Encouragement of Innovation: The Regulatory Sandbox will facilitate the introduction of new and innovative telecommunication solutions, potentially offering better and more advanced services to users.

The Telecommunications Act 2023 introduces significant changes aimed at modernising the telecom sector, enhancing national security, and promoting innovation. By updating outdated laws and implementing new regulations, the Act seeks to create a robust and forward-looking telecommunications framework for India.