Preparing to regulate apps like WhatsApp, Telegram
TRAI will start the consultation process soon
All OTT apps will not need regulation
New Delhi. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will soon start the much-awaited consultation process on the questions of regulating over-the-top (OTT) communication players or apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal. This information has been given to ET by the officials related to the matter.
He said that among the questions that TRAI is planning to ask is that if it is felt that some regulation is needed, then which class of apps need to be brought under regulatory ambit. Officials also said that the definition of OTT, category of OTT, demand for equal opportunity with telecom companies and other things including current international practice will also be considered in the consultation paper.
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Not all OTT apps will be regulated
An official told ET that we will look into all aspects. Not all OTT apps need regulation. Through the consultation process, we will take comments from all the stakeholders. Along with this, we will also see what are the international practices in this context.
Telecom Regulatory had earlier recommended that OTT players should not be regulated. But after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) again sought a proposal for a regulatory mechanism for apps, the matter is being reconsidered.
The DoT, on its part, only wants to regulate communication apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Not broadcasting apps and content like Netflix and Amazon Prime. This is proposed in the drafted Telecom Bill. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav has made it clear that the basic objective of regulating communication OTT apps was to protect customers from fraud and not to generate revenue.
Through the upcoming consultation paper, TRAI will try to remove any ambiguity around different sets of OTT apps. A DoT official told ET, “There is an urgent need to regulate OTT for data security and protection of consumer privacy.”
Tags: OTT platform, tech news, Telegram, WhatsApp
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 07, 2023, 09:55 IST