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Sections of Telecom Act 2023 to be enforced from June 26

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In Short:

The government has announced that certain sections of the new Telecommunications Act 2023 will come into effect from June 26, 2024. The Act will replace the 150-year-old Indian Telegraph Act. Not all sections of the Act will be notified immediately, with some related to spectrum allocation and penalties to be notified later. The Department of Telecommunications will soon seek pricing and modalities for satellite spectrum allocation.

Government Notifies Implementation of Certain Sections of Telecommunications Act 2023

The government has announced that certain sections of the Telecommunications Act 2023 will be enforced starting from June 26. However, some other key sections of the Act, such as those related to administrative allocation of spectrum for satellite services and the adjudication mechanism, will be notified at a later date.

Implementation Details

According to a gazette notification issued late Friday, specific sections of the Telecommunications Act, including sections 1, 2, 10 to 30, 42 to 44, 46, 47, 50 to 58, 61, and 62, will come into effect on June 26, 2024. Officials have confirmed that the new Telecommunications Act will replace the outdated Indian Telegraph Act, which is over 150 years old.

However, some sections such as 3-9, which pertain to powers of authorisation and assignment, as well as the assignment of spectrum, particularly satellite spectrum, have not been notified.

Upcoming Actions

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is set to send a request to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to determine pricing and other modalities for the administrative allocation of satellite spectrum. Additionally, the DoT will be working on establishing rules for various other provisions of the Act.

Further discussions and consultations will be held on issues related to right of way (RoW), general offenses like unauthorized use of telecommunication networks, and intercepting messages unlawfully. Penalties and the implementation of section 59, relating to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act 1997, will be addressed in due course.

Approximately 35-37 rules are expected to be formulated to fully implement the Act, with work already in progress on this front.

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