TRAI

A number of TRAI consultations are currently active, with differing deadlines: so many, in fact, that we’re finding it difficult to keep track.

1. Consultation on Public WiFi networks
Comments deadline: 10th of August, 2016
Countercomments deadline: 24th of August, 2016
Whom to email: broadbandtrai@gmail.com

Brief: TRAI looks to expand availability of Public WiFi hotspots in India, by asking how small entrepreneurs or even small-shop owners could setup hotspots and earn a profit from it. Essentially, TRAI is providing a wider meaning to the phrase “public WiFi networks”, not limited to WiFi hotspot created by licensed TSP/ISP at public places.

MediaNama report on this issue:

“How do we get WiFi hotspots everywhere in India?” asks TRAI

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2. Consultation Paper on Internet Telephony
Comments deadline: 22nd August 2016 (extended)
Counter comments deadline: 5th September 2016
Whom to email: broadbandtrai@gmail.com

Brief: In this paper, VoIP calling apps like Ringo, Nanu, etc which transfer calls to and from landline/mobile networks came under TRAI’s scrutiny. The regulator termed these apps as ‘unrestricted’ internet telephony services since they can terminate or originate at PSTN networks used by telcos as well, while calls made purely over the Internet have no restrictions.

MediaNama report on this issue:

TRAI paper looks to regulate VoIP apps that link to regular phone networks

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3. Mobile TV / Digital Terrestrial Transmission
Comments deadline: 5th August 2016
Countercomments deadline: 12th August 2016 (extended)
Whom to email: mkasim@trai.gov.in or ks.rejimon@nic.in.

Brief: To look at the viability of Digital Terrestrial Transmission, and examine the viability of mobile TV or DTT, and suggest a roadmap for it.

MediaNama report on this issue:

Eight years after its Mobile TV reccos yielded nothing, TRAI tries again

4. Cloud computing consultation
Comments deadline: 8th August 2016 (extended)
Countercomments deadline: 22nd August 2016
Whom to email: advqos@trai.gov.in.

Brief: TRAI discusses the need for regulating cloud services in India, privacy and data protection/ownership issues, need for lawful interception, taxation, among others.

MediaNama report on this issue:

TRAI paper opens debate on regulating and licensing cloud services; on data ownership, interception and more

5. Voicemail, audiotex, unified messaging services consultation
Comments deadline: 25th July 2016 (extension)
Countercomments deadline: 8th August 2016
Whom to email: pradvnsl@trai.gov.in with a copy marked to rksingh@trai.gov.in

Brief: The regulator seeks public opinion on issues regarding licensing terms, entry fee and revenue sharing arrangements for voicemail, audiotex (IVR) and unified messaging services (UMS) in a consultation issued on June. These licenses are used by cloud telephony companies, and Knowlarity has faced issues.

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6. Grievance Redressal in the Telecom Sector (to deal with consumer complaints)
Comments deadline: 18th August 2016
Counter comments deadline: 26th August 2016
Whom to email: cacommentstrai@gmail.com

Brief: The regulator suggests creating an independent authority, or an ‘Office of Ombudsman’ for the telecom sector, after it received over 10 million mobile complaints from consumers between January and March 2016.

Other consultations and their status

1. Net neutrality pre-consultation paper
Comments deadline: 5th July 2016 (extended)
Counter comments deadline: None were sought. Responses aren’t public
Whom to email: advqos@trai.gov.in
Status: A meeting was held on July 15th 2016. A formal consultation paper is expected

Brief: The regulator wanted a detailed regulatory framework for VoIP and messaging apps ‘to ensure better privacy and security’, in a net neutrality pre-consultation issued in May. Questions can be read here. Comments were accepted at advqos@trai.gov.in; deadline for comments was set on 21st June 2016, while TRAI provided an extension till 5th July 2016.

MediaNama report on this issue:

Regulatory framework for online media, calling and messaging? TRAI’s new Net Neutrality pre-consultation paper

2. Free Data consultation paper
Comments deadline: 30th June 2016 (extended)
Counter comments deadline: 14th July 2016
Whom to email: broadbandtrai@gmail.com
Filings: Comments filed / Counter comments filed
Status: Open house session awaited

Brief: A consultation issued by TRAI in May, revisits three different ‘free data-cash back models’ that TRAI had already ruled on, including Gigato, Airtel Zero and FreeBasics.

MediaNama report on this issue:

TRAI’s new Net Neutrality consultation takes another look at Airtel Zero, Gigato models

3. Consultation on QoS regulations for DTH, Cable, HITS, IPTV operators

Comments deadline: 1st July 2016
Counter comments deadline: 8th July 2016
Whom to email: mkasim@trai.gov.in or ks.rejimon@nic.in
Filings: Comments and countercomments filed
Status: Open house session was held on 28th July 2016, and final report is awaited

Brief: TRAI primarily discussed on bringing better efficiency in services offered by players though these platforms, and better transparency for consumers. TRAI proposed three kinds of unified regulatory framework for addressing QoS parameters in all mediums.

MediaNama report on this consultation (we didn’t attend the discussion):

TRAI proposes bringing DTH, Cable TV, HITS, IPTV operators under unified QoS framework

4. Consultation paper on interconnection between HITS, Cable and Multi System operators

Comments deadline: 10th June 2016 / Comments and countercomments filed
Countercomments deadline: 17th June 2016
Whom to email: sksinghal@trai.gov.in and gs.kesarvani@trai.gov.in
Status: Unknown
Brief: TRAI asked whether standard interconnection agreements (SIA) and model interconnection agreements (MIA) be applied for revenue sharing between IPTV and Head-end In The Sky (HITS) players, Multiple System Operators (MSOs) with Local Cable Operators (LCOs).

MediaNama report on this:

TRAI recommends changes in interconnection policies between IPTV, HITS and cable operators

5. Consultation paper on In-Building telecom access and exclusive arrangements
Comments deadline: 21st July 2016
Countercomments deadline: 28th July 2016 (extended)
Filings: Comments and countercomment filings
Status: Open house awaited

Brief: ‘Exclusive agreements between Resident Welfare Associations, builders, contractors, airports and telecom companies are creating an artificial monopoly. The paper seeks to address challenges faced by consumers who are forced to use a singular service; and telcos who are hindered by building owners/developers who choose to sign commercial agreements with and exclusive service provider.

MediaNama report:

Exclusive agreements between builders & telcos creating monopoly: TRAI consultation paper