In order to develop a framework for regulating internet calling and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Google Meet, and others, the Department of Telecom has requested input from the industry regulator Trai, a government official said on Wednesday.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) issued a recommendation on internet telephony in 2008, but the Department of Telecom (DoT) sent it back last week for review. In light of the changing technical landscape brought on by the emergence of new technologies, the DoT has asked the sector regulator to develop a comprehensive reference.
“The DoT did not accept the Trai’s recommendation regarding Internet telephony. According to the official, who wished to remain unnamed, “the Department has now requested detailed references from Trai for internet telephony and over-the-top players.
The government has been urged by telecom operators to apply the “same service, same rules” tenet to the sector.
They frequently demand that online calling and messaging services pay the same level of license fees and abide by the same quality of service, legal interception, and other regulations as telecom operators and internet service providers (ISPs).
Trai had suggested in 2008 that ISPs be permitted to offer internet telephony, including calls on traditional telephone networks, but they would have to pay interconnection fees, install legal intercept equipment per the requirements of security agencies, etc.
When the government and the regulator were discussing net neutrality in 2016–17, telecom operators also brought up the issue.