12 Mar 2012

National Telecom Policy 2012 Of India By TRAI

National Telecom Policy of India 2011 was suggested in the past and now it has been revised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The proposed National Telecom Policy 2012 of India is an improvement over the Policy suggested in 2011.

Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno Legal Base (PTLB) provided its techno legal public inputs in this regard and many of them have been endorsed by TRAI.

Some of the suggestions of Perry4Law and PTLB that have been accepted by TRAI pertain to issues like establishing servers in India, establishing cloud computing legal framework in India, establishment of telecom security in India, reconciling privacy rights and law enforcement requirements, reconciling privacy rights and national security requirements, adoption of lawful interception methods, telecom dispute resolution reforms in India, crisis management and emergency response services, delivery of e-services in a time bound manner, digitisation of governmental records, establishing cloud computing best practices in India, encryption and privacy issues of cloud computing, establishing a centralised monitoring system in India, etc.

The following are the core techno legal provisions that have been suggested by TRAI and many of these suggestions have also been provided by Perry4Law and PTLB in the past:

(1) Servers: Ensure that all servers on which sensitive data are hosted are located within the country and ensure that all local content is hosted on servers located within the country.

(2) Cloud Services: To setup an efficient cloud computing environment.

(a) Adopt best practices to address the issues related to cloud services;
(b) Create a secure network for cloud computing covering encryption and privacy;
(c) Create a legal and security frame work covering network security, law enforcement assistance and preservation of cross-border data flows for deployment of Cloud Services;
(d) TRAI to devise appropriate mechanisms to provide interoperability among cloud computing service providers.

(3) Security: To ensure security of the information in the telecom network and monitoring of the information, compliant with the objectives of national security.

(a) Keeping in view individual privacy and in line with international practices, develop and deploy a state of the art system for providing assistance to Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs);
(b) Mandate and enforce that the Telecom Service Providers take adequate measures to ensure the security of communication in/through their networks by adopting contemporary information security standards;
(c) Create an institutional framework through regulatory measures to ensure that safe-to-connect devices are inducted into the Telecom Networks;
(d) Build national capacity in all areas that impinge on Telecom network security and communication assistance for law enforcement, such as security standards, security testing, interception and monitoring capabilities and manufacturing of critical telecom equipment;
(e) Ensure that all equipments supplied to the telecom service providers are in conformity with the laid down security and safety standards;
(f) Mandate, on consideration of recommendations from TRAI, standards in the areas of functional requirements, safety and security and in all possible building blocks of the communication network i.e. devices, elements, components, physical infrastructure like towers, buildings etc;
(g) Develop a rational criterion for sharing of costs beyond a threshold limit between Government and the service providers in implementing security measures.

(4) Quality of Service: To ensure better quality of experience for telecom consumers.

(a) Quality of Service and consumer interests being under TRAI's domain, TRAI will appropriately lay down the end-to-end system performance standards, Quality of Service parameters, and measures to Protect consumer interest; (covers all issues of QoS listed in the draft NTP)
(b) TRAI to be given necessary powers including the power to enforce including penalty provisions, to enforce the observance by the service provides of the laid down standards /parameters;
(c) Undertake legislative measures to bring disputes between telecom consumers and service providers within the jurisdiction of Consumer Forums established under Consumer Protection Act.

(5) Emergency Response Services: To enable access to telecommunication services in times of emergency and disasters.

(a) Entrust TRAI, under clause 11 (1) (b) of TRAI Act, with the development of nationwide Unified Emergency Response Mechanism by providing nationwide single access number for emergency services;
(b) To ensure availability of communication to agencies connected with law and order, security and disaster management during calamities and emergencies.

(6) Development of E-Applications: To facilitate the development of e-applications, particularly in Education, Health, Agriculture, Skill development, Small and Medium Enterprises, e-Governance, e-Commerce, e-banking.

(a) Promote an ecosystem for participants in VAS industry value chain to develop applications, particularly to meet the needs of the rural citizens;
(c) Incentivise companies involved largely with the development of e-applications for rural areas and in regional languages;
(c) Put in place an appropriate regulatory framework for delivery of VAS at affordable price so as to fuel growth in entrepreneurship, innovation and provision of region specific content in regional languages;
(d) Encourage development of mobile phones based on open platform standards and leverage the mobile device for enabling secure transactional services including online authentication of identity;
(e) Work with handset manufacturers and international standards bodies to make e-applications interoperable in Indian languages;
(f) Incentivise application developers to provide customized applications suitable for local needs;

(7) Enabling Delivery of E-Services to Rural Areas: To deliver e-services provided by various government agencies to the citizens.

(a) Promote synergies between roll-out of broadband and various Government programs viz. e-governance, e-Panchayat, NMEICT, MNREGA, NKN, AADHAR, AAKASH tablet etc.;
(b) Digitize the content available in the government departments;
(c) Coordinate with State Governments and different Ministries in Government of India such that all procedures are amended, to ensure digital delivery of services, in a definite timeframe;
(d) Coordinate with State Governments and different Ministries in Government of India such that all personnel are trained in a definite timeframe to achieve the desired degree of competence in understanding of the revised procedures and delivery of services;
(e) Equip all the Panchayats and Villages Centres with the requisite Hardware and train the personnel;
(f) Stimulate the demand for e- applications and services by working closely with Department of IT in the promotion of local content creation particularly in regional languages.

(8) Empowering Urban Citizens: To empower citizens in the urban areas through establishment of Fiber networks and deployment of applications required for smart cities and towns.

(a) Provide fiber to home/kerb as an integrated access to meet ICT requirements of urban citizens;
(b) Make regulatory changes to unbundle fiber infrastructure;
(c) Coordinate with State Governments and different Ministries in Government of India such that all procedures for services in urban areas are amended in a definite timeframe to ensure digital delivery of services;
(d) Coordinate with State Governments and different Ministries in Government of India such that all personnel are trained in a definite timeframe to achieve the desired degree of competence in understanding of the revised procedures and delivery of services;
(e) Digitize the content and data available in the government departments, in a definite timeframe;
(f) Provide policy support including standards implementation, for secure communication of information within and between different sectors;
(g) Develop a regulatory framework for Machine to Machine communications;

(9) Innovation and IPR Creation: To promote entrepreneurship, innovation and IPR creation for indigenous product development and its commercialisation.

(a) Develop detailed guidelines for promotion of innovation and IPR creation;
(b) Promote Indian products viz., products having Indian IPR, by stipulating a mandatory market share;
(c) Create a Telecom Research and Development Corporation (TRDC) for setting up of an R&D fund and establishing a Research and Development Park;
(d) Establish a Telecom Research and Development Park for facilitating research, IPR creation and commercialization;
(e) Facilitate access to financial resources on favorable terms and provide fiscal incentives to relevant R&D institutions;
(f) Assist researchers to obtain IPRs for their innovation;
(g) Set up an autonomous Telecommunications Standard Development Organization (TSDO) to develop standards to meet national requirements, to generate IPRs and to participate in international standardization bodies to contribute in formulation of global standards;
(h) Create suitable testing infrastructure to aid in development of new products and services;
(i) Encourage the entrepreneurs to develop and commercialize Indian products by making available requisite funding (pre-venture and venture capital), management and mentoring support.