OTTs need no regulations: TRAI

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on September 14, 2020

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended that over the top (OTT) players such as Facebook, Google, Viber and the likes require no regulations.

“Market forces may be allowed to respond to the situation without prescribing any regulatory intervention. However, developments shall be monitored and intervention as felt necessary shall be done at appropriate time,”said TRAI in its recommendations on Regulatory Framework for OTT Communication Services.

Privacy and security

It also said that no regulatory intervention is required in respect of issues related to privacy and security of OTT services at the moment.

“It is not an opportune moment to recommend a comprehensive regulatory framework for various aspects of services referred to as OTT services, beyond the extant laws and regulations prescribed presently,” it said.

It further added that the matter may be looked into afresh when more clarity emerges in international jurisdictions, particularly the study undertaken by International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardisation Sector (ITU).

Mobile operators have been asking the regulator and the government for regulations of such OTT companies as the latter are free riders on their network that affect the revenues as these OTT are offering similar services.

In March 2016, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sought the recommendations of the TRAI related to net neutrality and OTT services, and based on that the TRAI has done various consultations to bring out some solutions.

During the consultations, TRAI observed that issues such as related to interoperability may not be mandated among OTTs and should be left for market forces.

Regarding interception of OTT communication services, some stakeholders commented in favour and submitted that OTT service providers collect and store personal information of the end users in their data servers located abroad, which, in turn, is leading to issues and dangers relating to data protection and national security

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Published on September 14, 2020
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