The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released an order amending the telecom tariff rules for SMS alerts, messages and cell broadcasts sent during or related to a disaster.

As per the order, telecom operators will be paid Rs 0.02 by the government for sending short message service (SMS) alerts during disaster and non-disaster situations. However, messages will have to be sent free of cost during disasters that come under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Unlike earlier, the rates are now prescribed on a uniform basis to make sure there is no ambiguity. TRAI also added that telecom operators will now be able to broadcast messages to all subscribers through cell broadcast free of cost during disaster and non-disaster periods.