The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on August 6 directed all telecom companies, including BSNL and MTNL, to submit monthly reports about pesky calls, starting September 2019, in a move aimed at cracking down on unsolicited commercial communication (UCC) in India. The regulatory body gave the specific format in which the companies need to make their submissions.

TRAI released the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 (available below), in December 2018 that sought to develop a new UCC ecosystem to effectively curb UCC. These amendments were notified after public comments on the bill were considered. Its key features are:

  • Blockchain: Adoption of blockchain as the regulatory technology “to enforce regulatory compliance while allowing innovation in the market”
  • Co-regulation with telecom service providers/access providers
  • Regulatory sandbox: “Enabling compliance through innovation in technology solution that are demonstrated in a regulatory sandbox”
  • Detect unregistered telemarketers: “Detection of unregistered telemarketers through collaboration and in a more intelligent manner”
  • Better control over all entities in the ecosystem and in the flow of commercial communications

TRAI had established a “Do Not Disturb” (DND) registry in 2010. According to TRAI, 23 crore subscribers had registered themselves in the DND registry until 2018.

MediaNama has reached out to TRAI for comment on consequences of non-compliance with this directive, and will update the article accordingly.