A consultation paper on regulations dealing with over-the-top services such as WhatsApp and Signal is likely to be issued in December by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), according to a report in Economic Times. The report added that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) called upon TRAI to offer recommendations for a legal framework to govern OTT apps as stipulated under the draft Telecom Bill, 2022. Why it matters: The announcement is noteworthy because it suggests that the Union government remains steadfast in its decision to cover OTT apps under the ambit of the draft telecom Bill. The bill has come under fire for its sweeping mandate that puts internet companies on equal footing with telecom operations. It will be interesting to see what the telecom regulator proposes in its consultation paper as it has been unequivocally against the regulation of OTT services in the past. What else do we know: There is a presentation scheduled on November 25 by TRAI officials following which issues will be identified for the consultation paper, Economic Times reported. It is rather surprising that TRAI is issuing a consultation paper so soon given that it was only a few weeks ago that there was a report in Business Standard stating that TRAI was not in favour of regulating OTT services. An official from TRAI rubbished the report stating that no one had issued any comments to the newspaper in a statement to Medianama. The report also said that TRAI had conveyed its stance…
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