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IAMAI, BIF and AIC oppose telecom operators demand to regulate OTT services


Soon after demanding interception of messages on internet services by telecom operators, the internet bodies including the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), Broadband India Forum (BIF) and the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) have opposed it.

Identifying Rich Interaction Applications (RIAs) as comparable to telecom services is highly reductionist and unjustified, said IAMAI to TRAI.

In November 2018, TRAI had issued a regulatory framework for Over The Top Communications Services to debate whether such regulation was required to govern these entities.

Besides Times Internet, Paytm and ShareChat, Vodafone-Idea and Reliance Jio have also called for bringing OTT players under the same licensing conditions as telecom companies and batted for the lawful interception of messages on internet applications and services.

They said it plays a critical role in investigating criminal, anti-national and antisocial activities. OTT service providers should be licensed in their response to the discussion paper, they added further.

However, Nasscom and IAMAI had opposed any additional regulation for OTTs. There are enough provisions under existing laws such as the IT Act. OTTs are complementing the TSPs as everything is riding on data.

Any more compliance burden will create an entry barrier for newcomers and hurt existing players, said IFF adding the act will hurt innovation. According to Times Internet owned OTT platform MX Player equating both OTT and TSPs would lead to double dipping into the OTT space and restrict the market.

Meanwhile, there is also demand of wider consultations from digital players on the subject.

The development was reported by ET.

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