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Telecom Bill 2023: India's move to replace 138-year-old law | 7 key things to know

Centre is updating telecom regulations with the Telecom Bill 2023, strengthening government powers, reducing penalties for telecom companies, and allowing free spectrum for satellite broadband. Here's everything you need to know.

Written By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Published on: December 20, 2023 7:46 IST
telecom bill 2023, new telecom bill 2023, ashwini vaishnaw, key things to know about telecom bill
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During the winter session of Parliament, the Government introduced the Indian Telecom Bill, 2023, with the aim of replacing the outdated Telegraph Act that dates back 138 years. The bill, presented by Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, focuses on enhancing public safety and introduces new regulations, specifically addressing issues concerning telecom companies and satellite services. Here are 7 key points to understand about the Telecom Bill 2023.

7 Key Things to Know About Telecom Bill 2023

Strengthened Government Powers

The Telecom Bill empowers the government to suspend telecommunications, providing control over messages from any telecom device in the interest of national security and integrity.

Emergency Measures

In emergency situations, the government is granted the temporary authority to take possession of any telecommunication service or telecom network as outlined by the provisions of the Telecom Bill 2023.

Replacing Outdated Laws

The new bill aims to replace the outdated Indian Telegraph Act of 1885 and the Indian Wireless Act of 1933, introducing modern regulations to address the evolving landscape of technology.

Suspension of Telecom Networks

Under the provisions of the Telecom Bill 2023, the government has the right to suspend telecommunication networks when necessary.

Free Spectrum for Satellite Broadband

In a departure from the previous practice, the Telecom Bill eliminates the need for auctions related to satellite broadband services. Instead, it opens the door for the allocation of free spectrum for these services.

Reduced Penalties for Telecom Companies

A noteworthy change in the bill is the reduction of the maximum penalty for telecom companies from Rs 50 crore to Rs 5 crore, offering some relief to the industry.

Provisions for DTH Companies

The new bill does away with provisions related to insolvency and waiving interest and penalties for companies. Additionally, the government will allocate spectrum to Direct-to-Home (DTH) companies without relying on auctions.

The Telecom Bill 2023 represents a step towards modernising regulations to address the current challenges faced by the telecom sector and satellite services.

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