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India’s Draft New Telecom Policy 2011: The Policy That Could Change India’s Digital Business Forever

India's Draft New Telecom Policy 2011 makes one key recommendation that could revolutionize the digital space from a content and services perspective, without directly making any specific content references. It's not about spectrum and network sharing , or mergers and acquisition, but a key change in the licensing regime. The Draft NTP-2011 suggests the creation of technology neutral Unified Licenses (under the One Nation-One License) policy, that is envisaged in two separate categories - the Network Service Operator / Communication Network Service Operator (CNSO), which is licensed to maintain converged networks for delivering "various types of services e.g. Voice, Data, Video, broadcast, IPTV, VAS etc.", very importantly, in a non-exclusive and non-discriminatory manner. The second would be a Service Delivery Operator (SDO) / Communication Service Delivery Operator (CSDO). The Service Delivery Operator (SDO) would be licensed to deliver any/ all services e.g. tele-services (voice, data, video), internet/broadband, broadcast services, IPTV, Value Added Service and content delivery services etc. What this means This is a clear separation of content and carriage: This is clearly a separation of content and services from their carriage, a theme that we've written about before here, here and in our recommendations to TRAI on MVAS. While the devil will be in the details, this could mean that network service operators will become what they were always intended to be - modes of access to content and services for consumers, and content providers will be able to provision their services to customers independently of network service providers.…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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