TELECOMMUNICATION BILL 2023 Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     19th December 2023        

Context: Recently, the Union minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology introduced the Telecommunications Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha.

Telecommunications Bill, 2023

  • About: This Bill, 2023, aims to amend and consolidate laws pertaining to the development, expansion, and operation of telecommunication services and networks, spectrum assignment, and related matters.
  • Replacing Historic Legislation: The new Bill is designed to replace the outdated Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950.
  • Powers to specify standards:  The central government may prescribe standards and assessments for telecom equipment, infrastructure, networks, and services.
  • Right of way: Facility providers may seek a right of way over public or private property to establish telecom infrastructure.  Right of way must be provided on a non-discriminatory and non-exclusive basis to the extent possible.

Importance of the Telecommunication Sector

  • The Bill emphasizes the significance of the telecommunication sector as a crucial driver for economic and social development.
  • It underscores the role of telecommunication as the gateway to digital services and emphasizes the need for a legal framework ensuring safe and secure telecommunication networks for digitally inclusive growth.

National Security and Emergency Measures

  • The Bill grants the government authority to take control of telecom services and intercept messages during times of national security concerns or emergencies. 
  • It states that in the event of a public emergency or disaster management, the Central Government, State Government, or specially authorized officers can take temporary possession of telecommunication services or networks.
  • The Bill provides for mechanisms to prioritize the routing of messages from authorized users during public emergencies.
output themes