Govt Can Now Take Control Of All Telecom Services In Case Of Emerency (New Telecom Law)


Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit Kulkarni

Jun 28, 2024


The Telecommunications Act 2023, which will be effective on June 26 shall enable the central government to take control of any telecommunications services or networks in times of emergency.

Govt Can Now Take Control Of All Telecom Services In Case Of Emerency (New Telecom Law)

Government Can Take Over Telecoms in Emergencies Once New Law in Effect

The Centre, though partially, notified the Telecommunications Act on Friday to be effective from June 26, and provisions including sections 1, 2, 10, and 30 will be in place.

As per the Gazette notification, “The Central government hereby appoints the 26th day of June 2024, as the date on which the provisions of sections 1, 2, 10 to 30, 42 to 44, 46, 47, 50 to 58, 61 and 62 of the said Act shall come into force”.

As per the notification, the government may take control of the telecom services on the grounds of security, public order, or prevention of offences.

Effective on June 26, Section 20 states that “On the occurrence of any public emergency, including disaster management, or in the interest of public safety, the Central Government or a State Government or any officer specially authorised in this behalf by the Central Government or a State Government can take temporary possession of any telecommunication service or telecommunication network from an authorised entity; or provide for appropriate mechanisms to ensure that messages of a user or group of users authorised for response and recovery during a public emergency are routed on priority.”

Government Authorization Needed for All Activities

Any telecom player who wants to establish or operate telecommunication networks, provide services or possess ratio equipment will have to be authorised by the government as per the act.

Once the rules are effective, the Universal Service Obligation Fund will become Digital Bharat Nidhi, which can be used for funding research and development, and pilot projects instead of just supporting the establishment of telecom services in rural areas.

Notably, some other sections of the act which include the administrative allocation of spectrum, including for the satellite services, and adjudication mechanism etc. will be notified later.

After coming into effect, the act shall supersede the existing rules within the telecommunications sector, which come under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the Wireless Telegraphy Act (1933), among others.


Rohit Kulkarni
Rohit Kulkarni
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