MediaNama invites you to attend our hybrid discussion on “Internet Regulation, Convergence and TRAI” in Delhi on February 24th 2023. The Indian telecom regulator TRAI’s consultation paper considers a regulatory environment where there is convergence between the Internet, broadcast and telecommunication, and considers applying the same norms across the domains, as well as a single regulation and regulator for this converged environment.
If you already know how MediaNama discussions work, sign up here for the physical discussion (or skip to the agenda below), else read on:
Before getting into the topics of the discussion, here are 5 reasons why, if you’re in technology/policy, you must come for this MediaNama discussion, especially the physical format:
- Share your point of view and get instant feedback: At MediaNama discussions you get to share your point of view, instead of being talked to by a panel: over 60% of a MediaNama discussion is interactive and focused on debating issues with the participants in the roomful of an audience curated for relevance.
- Meet others working on the same subject: we have dedicated networking time at MediaNama discussions, where you can meet and engage with others working on the same subject, and get a sense of what’s happening behind the scenes.
- Hear a point you hadn’t considered: We curate our participants for a diversity of perspectives, with people working on the same issue, but coming from a different background: hear not just from policy wonks, but also technologists, founders, people working with lawmakers, among others. There’s always another way of looking at something.
- Outcome focused: At the end of each session, one of the key questions we consider is a wishlist: what should change, why and how?
- Breadth and depth of understanding: At MediaNama we are focused on providing our readers and attendees with both the depth and breadth of understanding of technology policy. We work hard to determine the probing questions that lend themselves to a deeper understanding of issues, discuss principles, and bring out perspectives that you might not have considered. You can ask questions too. Sometimes the questions are more important than an answer.
Convinced? Sign up for the physical discussion here. The virtual option is available to MediaNama subscribers. You may subscribe to MediaNama here.
Also, here’s why this discussion matters: the TRAI is considering, among others the following issues:
1. Permission based provision of online services: The TRAI in its consultation paper says that “service providers using electronic means to deliver services must have permission of the appropriate government in accordance with the policy governing such service sector,” adding that the current regulator framework for delivering online services needs to be reviewed to address regulatory overlap between different ministries, and determine who will prepare policies, and give permission and devise the regulatory framework.
2. Same service same rules: The TRAI believes that there are telecom service providers that are online services operating in the same space as licensed telecom operators, and there is a difference in their regulatory obligations. The TRAI wants to consider how to regulate them. “TSPs are saying that OTT communications services are grabbing their SMS and voice call business. Big Tech firms are saying that these are not similar services and should be regulated separately.” The TRAI also considers reworking the regulatory structure for broadcast and television, saying that MEITY as no process of registration/licensing or regulatory oversight over Internet services. The TRAI considers expanding the definition of telecom to include online services.
3. Quality of Services for online services: “…Telecom is monitored for its performance as a part of the regulations, while cloud services are not subjected to the same or similar regulations. The unnoticed transition of services from regulated to unregulated domain and that too without appropriate considerations of impact of such transitions on the protection of the Interest of consumers may be a matter of concern for the telecom sector.”
4. Impact of 5G: 5G will lead to the convergence of multiple sectors and critical sectors will no longer work in silos. This calls for convergence between various regulatory bodies/authorities so that there is consensus on multiple regulatory frameworks and different laws applicable to them.
5. Single converged regulator, single converged regulation: Apart from suggesting that a fully converged regulator for “ICT sector” which covers data privacy and cybersecurity, the TRAI also considers a single code/act by consolidating the laws governing provision of communications services, broadcast, online streaming, video on demand, M2M, AR/VR communications. In the paper, it positions a code for the service.
12:30 PM: Networking Lunch
01:30 PM: Opening remarks
01:45 PM: Convergence, 5G, permission and regulatory overlap
03:00 PM: Regulating broadcast, television, telecom and streaming
04:00 PM: Networking Tea Break
04:15 PM: A single converged regulation and regulator?
05:30 PM: Close + Networking + Tea
In these sessions, we’ll also discuss issues related to: Same Service Same Rules, Quality of service requirements for online services, competition concerns highlighted by the TRAI, definition of telecommunication services.
Sign up here for the physical discussion / Subscribers will get hybrid access, so if you want to attend virtually, subscribe here.
- Registration does not guarantee attendance. In case you fit our mandate for the curated audience, we’ll send you a confirmation by February 23, 2023.
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The page was updated on February 20th and 21st, 2023 for minor changes.