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Summary: Government further simplifies guidelines for Other Service Providers

The simplified guidelines for OSPs remove several restrictions pertaining to call centres, permit remote interconnection to the OSP centre, and allow the usage of VPNs.  The Department of Telecommunications on June 23 further simplified its November 2020 liberalisation of norms surrounding Other Service Providers like call centres. The rules now do away with a distinction between international OSPs and Indian OSPs, something that will reduce the regulatory burden on OSP entities that are here and are a part of multinationals. The other key difference is that the DoT has made it easier for OSPs to manage incoming and outgoing calls by internally using private networks or the internet to forward calls between different facilities, according to an analysis by Khaitan & Co's Harsh Walia and Shobhit Chandra. What the rules say now The deregulation last November was in itself very transformative as the preceding rules had strict prohibitions on issues like using VPNs and tight norms for a company's internal networks. While the principal aim of the OSP rules beforehand was to prevent what's known as "toll bypass," where an OSP routes calls through the internet or private networks to avoid paying call tariffs, the pre-existing regime drew complaints from the industry for being too burdensome. In the previous regime, even businesses that were doing outsourcing work and didn't rely on a call centre model were heavily regulated. That is no longer the case. The November regulation as well as the current one do away with these restrictions, making life…

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