So it's finally happened: the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has brought telecom operators and marketers (not just Bulk SMS agencies) under the ambit of its SMS Spam regulations. This is a welcome move, and indeed, one we've called for repeatedly (see this from 2011 and this from last month). As per the new clauses added to the regulation, Telecom Operators will be fined Rs 5000 per complaint if SMS Spam is sent by a subscriber who is not registered as a telemarketer. The rationale here is that it is the telecom operators responsibility to verify the identity of the telemarketer, and there is still a financial incentive for telecom operators to allow Bulk SMS and spam, because of which a disincentive needs to be created. The TRAI has finally held the telecom service providers, the telemarketers and the entities that are engaging the telemarketers responsible for SMS Spam, saying that this new regulation "brings within their ambit the TSPs who provide bulk connections for modem farming for sending of bulk UCC messages as also the organizations(principals) which engage unregistered telemarketers (as agents) for promoting the businesses interests of their principals." The authority rightly points out that physical verification of subscribers is needed before the connection is activated, and bulk user premises have to be inspected by the TSPs at least once in six months. Telecom operators will have to submit, by the 15th of every month, a list of all bulk SMS connections provided during the preceding month. Of…
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