Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act was passed by Parliament in 1997 to regulate telecom services in India.

25 Years of TRAI Act

To commemorate the 25 years journey of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Act, a seminar on “25 Years of TRAI Act: Way Forward for Stakeholders (Telecom, Broadcasting, IT, AERA and Aadhaar)”, was organized recently. The seminar was organized by Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and was inaugurated by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Communications and Railways.

Background of TRAI act

In the 1990s, India witnessed the entry of the private sector in the provision of telecommunication services. To regulate the private sector, a need was felt to establish an independent regulatory body. Accordingly, in 1997 TRAI (Ordinance) was passed to establish the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The ordinance was later replaced by the TRAI Act, 1997 passed by the Parliament.

Important functions of TRAI

  • To recommend the timing for the introduction of a new service provider.
  • To ensure compliance with terms and conditions of license by the service provider.
  • To prescribe the standards regarding the quality of service to be provided to consumers.
  • To conduct surveys to ascertain the quality of service provided by the service providers.
  • To ensure effective compliance with the Universal Service Obligations (USO).
  • To notify the rates at which telecom services shall be provided under the TRAI Act.

TDSAT

The TRAI Act, 1997 provided a mechanism to resolve disputes among various stakeholders of the telecommunication sector. In the year 2000, the TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance and the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) was established. TDSAT took over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

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