The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced the extension of deadline for receiving comments on its ‘Consultation paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-Top (OTT) Communication Services‘.
The deadline for inviting written comments was December 10, 2018 which has been extended to January 7th, 2019. And the deadline for counter comments have been extended from December 24th, 2018 to January 21st, 2019.
On November 12th, 2018, TRAI had released a 42 page long consultation paper. In the paper, the TRAI focused on the definition, regulatory issues and economic concerns pertaining to OTT services which can be regarded same or similar to the services provided by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). According to a statement issued by TRAI, the consultation paper aimed at analyzing and discussing:
- the implications of the growth of OTTs;
- the relationship between OTT players and TSPs and similarity between services provided by the TSPs and OTT players;
- changes that may be required in the current regulatory framework to govern these entities and the manner in which such changes should be effected.
OTT Services refer to applications and services that are accessible over the internet. The TRAI paper notes that there is no globally accepted definition of OTT, and that OTTs offering services such as voice calls and messaging overlap with services offered by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). This, therefore, may include but would not be limited to Amazon Prime, Netflix, HotStar.