Monday, 26 August 2013

DoT panel proposes a new body to regulate telecom and broadcast

An internal DoT panel is learnt to have proposed creation of a new body that can regulate both telecom and broadcast sectors with greater teeth than existing regulator TRAI.
Under a proposed communications convergence legislation, the new body would be chaired by a retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High court who has special "knowledge and experience in telecommunications, broadcasting, finance, accountancy, law, management or consumer affairs," a source said.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) panel is working on the new communication convergence Bill and has recommended constitution of a Communications Commission.
The commission is also proposed to have some more additional power than present regulator TRAI.
The panel is of the view that commission should have maximum of four members which should include- Chairperson, one judicial member and not more than two other members.
The Judicial member of the commission can be judge of High Court as per the panel's suggestion. For other members, the panel has suggested persons who "have held post of secretary to the government of India or any equivalent post in central or state government for period of not less than two years."
The commission is to be formed under new convergence bill on which government has started working following various common issues in the telecom and the broadcast sector like use of mobile phones for watching videos, possible Internet use through DTH service etc.
The new Bill aims at setting up a framework to govern transmission of telecom and broadcasting services on a common network.
The DoT panel has proposed changes in existing TRAI Act and other legislations like Indian telegraph Act, Cable TV networks, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act and Information Technology Act for forming comprehensive a Communications Convergence Bill.
The proposed amendments can enable the communication commission to look in to speedy resolution of disputes, integrity and security of network, facilitate development of national network infrastructure.
While TRAI regulates the telecom and the broadcast sectors, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) adjudicates disputes and disposes of appeals with a view to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector.


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