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Net telephony from April 1

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, March 15

THE Government has said Internet telephony will be allowed in the country from April 1, as it has accepted the recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the subject.

Users will be permitted to communicate using net telephony from PC to PC (both within and outside India), PC (in India) to telephone (outside India) and IP-based H.323/SIP terminals in India to similar terminals both in the country and abroad, employing IP addressing scheme of `IANA', an official statement said here.

Detailed guidelines on the matter would be issued on March 22, the statement said.

Welcoming the Government's decision, the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) said Internet telephony would not only help in spreading the Internet culture throughout the country, but also provide a boost to the fortunes of ISPs, cyber cafes and even PCOs.

ISPAI said by restricting Internet telephony to PC to PC and PC to phone, the regulator had proposed measures that would allow all stakeholders to benefit without any particular category getting hurt.

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