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Only OTT communication apps are to be regulated under the draft telecom bill 2022



The proposed telecom bill 2022 which strives to regulate telecommunication apps may only regulate OTT communication apps. The major players in communication include WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, etc. A report by ET said that the draft regulation act may not deal with the regulation of platforms that over content including Netflix, Amazon amongst others, or the platforms that provide e-commerce services. 

The report also stated that the draft regulations will prioritize the security perspective and not the revenue-raising measures such as license fees. The core purpose is to provide a safer platform to use rather than hurting the growth of the platform. This telecommunication bill aims to bring a legal framework that helps in preventing the harassment of any user from unauthenticated sources. It has also brought prior consent for the users before any promotional materials. 

Other than this, the report also stated that any two-way communication between the app and a user will be considered and come under the purview of telecom services and may be subject to regulation. Apart from this, if these OTT communication apps are brought under the purview of telecom services, these companies are required to work for the know-your-customer (KYC) verification for their users. Doing KYC is a regular process for operators including Airtel, Jio, and others. 

This is all due to the fading distinction between voice and data calls, as stated by the union minister for electronics and information technology Mr. Ashwini Vaushnaw. The 40-page draft bill has been put up for public consultations and individual suggestions before October 20. The Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has also mentioned that the bill is expected to be in action in the coming 6 to 10 months.


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