“The problem is we are already talking about the feasibility of a certain design of the regulator. That's sort of putting the cart before the horse. The question for me is, what are the aspects, which in a sense would attract regulatory intervention?” questions Vibodh Parthasarathi, Associate Professor, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance at Jamia Millia Islamia, while speaking at MediaNama’s discussion on Internet Regulation, Convergence and TRAI on February 24, 2023. The expert was commenting on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) consultation paper batting for a converged regulatory framework. TRAI, in its paper, has recommended that in a converged era, in order to facilitate innovation and ease of doing business, “convergence of telecom and broadcasting networks and services can ensure efficient utilization of the available resources”. We have summarised the consultation paper here. Discussants at MediaNama’s event raise questions about the necessity and feasibility of a single regulator and touch upon the challenges that may arise while implementing such a framework. STAY ON TOP OF TECH POLICY: Our daily newsletter with top stories from MediaNama and around the world, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today! What are they trying to address through convergence? According to TRAI, the lack of convergence is causing challenges at the “statutory, licensing, administrative and regulatory levels”. As multiple ministries are looking at different aspects of online services, the telecom regulator believes that there is a need to include over-the-top services or internet communication services…
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