Cabinet clears Telecommunication Bill, likely to be introduced in Parliament next week
The Union Cabinet is learnt to have cleared the Telecommunication Bill during its meeting which took place on Friday, sources aware of the developments said.
With the cabinet having cleared the proposed legislation, it is likely to be introduced in the Parliament next week.
The bill proposes to enlarge the scope of telecommunication services by including OTT, Internet-based and satellite-based communication services, broadcasting, internet and broadband services within its ambit. This provision was, however, objected to by social media and technology companies, arguing that it could result in regulation of OTT communication applications.
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The government had come out with a draft Telecommunications Bill 2022 in September last year and was put out for public comments.
The proposed legislation also seeks to replace the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.
According to the draft bill, spectrum may be allocated through auction, administrative processes or any other mechanism as decided by the government.
Also it empowers the Central government to block, intercept or monitor messages or a class of messages between two or more persons. Such actions may be undertaken if found necessary in the case of public emergency or threat to public safety.
Telecom services may also be suspended under the bill's provisions, on such grounds.