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TRAI to soon issue a consultation paper on regulation of OTT apps

November 09, 2018
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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is going to issue a consultation paper on the regulation of over- the- top (OTT) apps such as Skype, WhatsApp and Google Duo among others.

Earlier, the TRAI had floated a draft paper in March 2015 seeking feedback from stakeholders and the need to establish a regulatory framework for OTT apps providing communication services similar to operators. However, the TRAI has only addressed issues of net neutrality and differential pricing of data.

Further, the operators have demanded that OTT communication apps be brought under a regulatory regime similar to theirs since they provide comparable services without the liabilities associated with being a licence holder. On the other hand, OTT players have opposed this move as it would hamper innovation, and pointed out that they were already regulated under the Information Technology Act.

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