The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications has decided to extend the last date for receipt of comments on the draft Telecom Bill till October 30, 2022.
“In response to the requests received from several stakeholders, the Ministry has decided to extend the last date for receipt of comments till October 30, 2022,” a DoT statement said on October 17.
The draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, along with an explanatory note, was released by this ministry on DoT’s website on September 21, 2022. The earlier dateline for the submission of feedback was on October 20.
The telecommunication sector employs more than 4 million people and contributes about 8 percent of the country’s GDP, the note said.
The Ministry of Communications initiated a public consultative process to develop a modern and future-ready legal framework. In July 2022, a Consultation Paper on ‘Need for a new legal framework governing Telecommunication in India’ was published and comments were invited.
The Consultation Paper explained the existing legal framework and issues associated with it. The Consultation Paper highlighted the evolution of telecommunication regulation in other countries.
Then, comments have been received from various stakeholders and industry associations.
In late September, the draft telecom bill was unveiled and had enlarged the definition of telecom services and brought over-the-top (OTT) communication services (such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram), satellite-based communication services, internet and broadband services, in-flight and maritime connectivity services, among others. Going forward, airwaves could be assigned either through auctions or the administrative route, depending on requirements.