Key Provisions of the Telecommunications Act 2023 to be Implemented from June 26

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Key Provisions of the Telecommunications Act 2023 to be Implemented from June 26

Introduction

The Ministry of Communications has announced that multiple provisions of the Telecommunications Act 2023 will come into effect from June 26. This new act is set to replace the existing regulatory framework based on the Indian Telegraph Act (1885), the Wireless Telegraphy Act (1933), and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act (1950). The detailed notification was published in the gazette on Friday.

Provisions Coming into Effect

According to the notification, provisions under ‘sections 1, 2, 10 to 30, 42 to 44, 46, 47, 50 to 58, 61, and 62’ of the Telecommunications Act 2023 will be enforced from June 26. These sections empower the Indian government to intercept, control, manage, or suspend telecom services and networks, especially in scenarios affecting national security, international relations, or during war.

Changes in Telecom Regulation

The act introduces several pivotal changes. For instance, the Universal Service Obligation Fund will now be known as Digital Bharat Nidhi. This fund will support research, development, and pilot projects beyond the expansion of telecommunication services in rural areas. Furthermore, the new law mandates measures to protect users from spam and malicious activities.

Impact on Telecom Infrastructure

With the implementation of these sections, the government can now enforce non-discriminatory and non-exclusive grants of the right of way for telecom network roll-outs. Additionally, the central government is empowered to establish common ducts and cable corridors, streamlining the infrastructure development process.

Conclusion

The Telecommunications Act 2023, which has been passed by Parliament and received presidential assent in December, marks a significant shift in India’s telecom regulatory landscape. While industry bodies have largely welcomed the new regulations, some technology activists and privacy advocates have raised concerns about privacy and control. As the provisions are implemented, their impact on the telecom sector will become clearer.

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