After extending the date for the implementation of the SMS Spam Regulations to 21st March 2011 in the last amendment, the TRAI has postponed it indefinitely. In the explanatory memorandum to this fifth amendment, The TRAI blames the Department of Telecom(DoT), which was suppose to allocate a separate number series for telemarketers using the fixed line network, for not being able to do so. It says, that since no time frame has been specified by DoT for the rollout of the new series, the TRAI cannot give a conclusive date for the implementation of the regulations.

Nikhil adds: This is just ridiculous. If the TRAI is the body that is mandated to issues such regulations, then it should either have the authority to allocate numbers and follow through with its regulations, or knowing that it doesn’t have the authority, should have gotten the Department of Telecom clearance before issuing regulations. All they did was create false hope and false panic in the market: first they issued regulations not taking into account the time it would take for systems to be put into place for the rollout (the TRAI website for telemarketers to get the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) was not ready), creating panic in the industry, because of the speed at which changes would have had to be made.

Since then, they’ve repeatedly postponed the implementation of the regulations for one reason or another, the latest being the allocation of “140 series” numbers to landline telemarkets. On the other hand, the DoT appears to be delaying decisions and implementation, like in case of Mobile Number Portability. In the meantime, given that these guidelines have been delayed indefinitely, the spammers will return, and customers will suffer. Just because government departments couldn’t get regulations sorted out in time. In our opinion, this is either a case of incompetence, or someone is pulling strings. What else could it be?

Details: Regulations Amendment

TRAI Do Not Call, SMS Spam Regulations Postponed Again Till 21st March
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