We missed this earlier: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on September 14 recommended that Cloud Service Providers in India be subject to a “light touch” regulatory regime, with the creation of an industry association. “The Authority recommends that DoT may initiate setting up of the first industry-led body and require all CSP’s to become its members. This body would lay down broad principles and procedures to aid its functioning,” TRAI said in its recommendations.

Telecom service providers should not be allowed to share infrastructure that is used for Telegraph, or core telecom functions, TRAI also recommended.

These recommendations follow a larger consultation on cloud computing in 2017, where TRAI had recommended a series of approaches, including registration (which has been expanded upon in the current consultation), legal frameworks for data protection, and more.

Summary of recommendations

On the regulatory framework for cloud service providers, TRAI recommended the following:

  • A registered industry body working with TRAI and DoT is the best way forward.
  • DoT should initiate the process of setting up such a body.
  • The industry association can create subcommittees or other bodies as it sees fit for purposes like focusing on market segments.
  • Only Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) CSPs should be required to join at first, and Software as a Service (SaaS) firms can join if they want.
  • Channel partners of CSPs shouldn’t be required to join, but they can if they want to.
  • Telecom Service Providers should not be allowed to share their infrastructure related to core telecom functions (“Telegraph as defined in the India Telegraph Act”).

On the industry-led body, TRAI recommended the following:

  • With six months notice, CSPs should be told to register on the DoT’s website.
  • Afterwards, a steering committee with industry and government membership should be formed.
  • This committee should decide on the terms of the industry body, and hold elections for office bearers.
  • DoT has the rights to appoint any other committee to determine aspects to be decided by the first one.

Read TRAI’s Recommendations on Cloud Services | Read the Consultation Paper and responses to it