Centre Notifies New Telecom Act To Control Of All Networks In Emergency

Under the Act, the government can take control of telecom services citing reasons of security, public order, or prevention of offenses.
Centre Notifies New Telecom Act To Control Of All Networks During Emergency
Centre Notifies New Telecom Act To Control Of All Networks During EmergencyREPRESENTATIVE

The Central government is set to enforce the Telecommunications Act 2023 from June 26, granting it authority to assume control of telecommunications services or networks during emergencies. Partially notified on Friday, the Act will bring into effect key provisions including sections 1, 2, 10, and 30.

A Gazette notification stated, "The Central government hereby appoints the 26th day of June 2024, as the date on which the provisions of sections 1, 2, 10 to 30, 42 to 44, 46, 47, 50 to 58, 61 and 62 of the said Act shall come into force."

Under the Act, the government can take control of telecom services citing reasons of security, public order, or prevention of offenses. Section 20, effective from June 26, empowers the Central or State Government, or authorized officers, to temporarily take possession of telecom services or networks during public emergencies or disasters to ensure prioritized communication.

Telecom operators seeking to establish or operate networks, provide services, or possess equipment must obtain government authorization under the Act. Additionally, the Universal Service Obligation Fund will be renamed as Digital Bharat Nidhi, broadening its scope to fund research, development, and pilot projects beyond rural telecom service establishment.

However, certain aspects like spectrum allocation and adjudication mechanisms will be notified at a later date. Once in effect, the Telecommunications Act 2023 will replace existing regulations governed by the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Wireless Telegraphy Act (1933), marking a significant overhaul in India's telecommunications sector regulatory framework.

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