The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on ‚ÄúRegulatory Framework for Promoting Data Economy Through Establishment of Data Centres, Content Delivery Networks, and Interconnect Exchanges in India.” It has recommended trusted source procurement rule be applied on data centres to discourage the use of insecure equipment in the network.Further, TRAI has suggested registration of content delivery networks (CDN), which includes entities like Google Cloud CDN, Amazon CloudFront, Azure CDN, etc. with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The trusted source norms bars telecom networks from procuring any equipment from entities that are not notified as trusted sources by the National Cyber Security Coordinator. TRAI is of the opinion that the government should define certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the data centre sector as part of Data Centre Incentivisation Scheme (DCIS), that should be made applicable across all states while leaving the flexibility to the states to announce further fiscal and non-fiscal incentives through their policies. The regulator has also suggested that CDN players should be registered with DoT through a simple online registration process.

Data centres hosting CDNs are connected to each other and the internet cloud via internet exchanges (IXPs). Demand for CDN services in India is growing with the emergence of new players in the over-the-top (OTT) category like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, e-commerce, online education, gaming, etc..

Meanwhile, TRAI has recommended bringing IXPs under a separate authorisation in unified license that are much less onerous than internet service providers (ISPs) license authorisation. To this end, TRAI has noted that any entity that intends to provide IXP services in India can do so either under ISP license/ UL-ISP authorisation or under standalone UL-IXP authorisation. The authority also recommends that all existing players, including National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) should be brought within this licensing framework in a stipulated time not exceeding six months.

Separately, TRAI has recommended the formation of the Data Digitisation and Monetisation Council (DDMC) to oversee all issues related to data digitisation, data sharing, and data monetisation in the country. As per TRAI, DDMC should also be entrusted with responsibility of putting in place an overarching framework for ethical use of data by the government as well as by the corporates in India.

Recommendations on ”Regulatory Framework for Promoting Data Economy Through Establishment of Data Centres, Content Delivery Networks, and Interconnect Exchanges in India” – https://www.trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/PR_No.71of2022.pdf