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November 2018

TRAI TO BE RENAMED DCRAI



Speaking at the annual general meeting of the telecom infrastructure body (TAIPA), Telecom minister Manoj Sinha declared that the government has decided to rename the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to the Digital Communications Regulatory Authority of India (DCRAI).

The post of TRAI chairman has been changed to Digital Communications regulator, the minister added.

The time frame has not been finalised but he expects it to be formalised soon.


TC BECOMES DCC

The Telecom Commission has also been renamed to Digital Communications Commission (DCC).

The Telecom Commission is the apex decision-making body at the Department of Telecom (DoT).


HISTORY

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was established on 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, (the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997), to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.



The New Name - DCRAI Will Finally Remedy The Dichotomy Between The Regulator's Name And Sectors Of Regulation.



BROADCASTING TOO

Interestingly, the TRAI was also thrust the responsibility to regulate the Broadcast sector.

Then I&B minister was not geared up to establish a new broadcast regulator. Mr Maran was then the telecom minister. Given Maran's extensive knowledge and personal stake in Broadcasting, he agreed to let the telecom regulator also handle broadcast regulations. (The Maran Brothers own and operate the SUN TV Group of companies which have TV channels, Cable TV networks and a DTH platform).

The new name - DCRAI will finally remedy the dichotomy between the regulator's name and sectors of regulation.


REGULATOR'S OBJECTIVES

One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

In pursuance of above objective TRAI has issued from time to time a large number of regulations, orders and directives to facilitate the Indian telecom market shifting from a Government owned monopoly to a multi operator multi service open competitive market.


TDSAT

The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take rule on and settle disputes.

There is no statement yet, whether the name of the TDSAT will also be changed.


TELECOM POLICY REVAMP

Rechristening the TRAI closely followed the government's announcement of the new telecom policy, which is now called the 'National Digital Communications Policy 2018. (NDCP 2018)'

On 26 September the Cabinet approved the National Digital Communications Policy that aims to attract $100 billion of investment and create as many as 40 lakh new jobs by 2022 in the sector.

The policy also seeks to ensure broadband coverage in currently uncovered regions with every citizen to be provided with connectivity of up to 50 Mbps.

Gram panchayats or village blocks, according to the government, would be provided with up to 1GBPS connectivity by 2020 and 10 GBPS by 2022.

TRAI chairman RS Sharma said, "The new policy will be transformational as it lays down quantifiable objectives - $100 billion investment, 50 Mbps download speeds."


OBJECTIVES

The key objectives of the NDCP-2018 policy include:

 Broadband for all

 Creating 4 million additional jobs in the Digital Communications (DC)

 DC to grow to 8% of India's GDP (6% in 2017)

 India In the Top 50 Nations in the ICT Development Index of the ITU

 establish a comprehensive data protection regime

 A National Digital Grid by a National Fibre Authority

 Common Service Ducts in all new city & highway projects

 Centre, States and Local Bodies To Coordinate Common Right of Way,

 Removal of barriers to approvals

All these objectives are to be achieved by 2022.

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