Govt to update telecom laws ahead of 5G rollout

New Delhi: India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided to replace outdated provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933.

As per media reports, machine to machine (M2M) learning and IoT regulations will be the focus and that the National Law University in Delhi has been enlisted for the update project. Other areas of focus are expected to include net neutrality, traffic management and pricing and consumer rights.  

The National Law University has been granted a four-month window to draft the updates.

Anshu Prakash, secretary, DoT, while speaking to media, said, “The mandate will include easy regulation, promoting innovation and proliferation of technologies, decriminalization of actions considered to be offences. Most importantly, the new legislation will require provisions that relate to M2M communication and IoT”.

“The current legislation regulates the interface of persons with each other and with machines. However, for interfaces between a machine and machine, there are gaps,” he added.

While the next-generation, or 5G, wireless technology is set to make downloads and video streaming lightning-fast, its real potential lies in letting electronic gadgets talk to each other, creating a mesh of connected devices called the IoT. The technology will make driverless cars and automated factory lines, among other things, commonplace.

A team at NLU, headed by vice-chancellor Srikrishna Deva Rao, will work on the draft legislation and will be advised by academics from technical and economic backgrounds.

The team will hold a consultation meeting in the next two weeks with civil society organizations, consumer groups, industry associations and legal experts. Following the meeting, a draft paper will be published to seek comments from the general public.