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Speed up talks on regulation of OTT communication apps: Delhi HC to TRAI

World Phone Internet Services Pvt Ltd moved the court in 2019 saying that OTT apps like WhatsApp should also comply with regulation

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to speed up the process of consultations with stakeholders for suggesting recommendations to the Union government on the proposed regulatory framework for OTT services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, LiveLaw reported. “Considering the extensive prevalence and use of internet telephony, TRAI would expeditiously conduct this stakeholders’ consultation and give its recommendations accordingly,” Justice Prathiba M.Singh stated in the order. About the case: According to LiveLaw, the World Phone Internet Services Pvt Ltd, had moved a plea in 2019 alleging that communication platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook messenger are not regulated and do not pay any fee to the government for providing their services, while companies like them have to pay license fees for internet services including internet telephony. As per the HC order, the petitioner had said, “The permissibility of internet telephony through various online communication channels such as Facebook and WhatsApp has worked to its detriment.” As mentioned in the HC order, the petitioner sought: Enforcement of current regulations, in compliance with same regulator/license framework applied to other telecom service providers, on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Regulations holding Facebook messenger and WhatsApp accountable for regulatory requirements as required under the UAS/ISP or Unified License granted under Section 4 of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and those issued by the Government from time to time. Prevent services, which are licensed as that of the petitioner, herein from being provided by WhatsApp and Facebook. To stop…

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Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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