Smaller ISPs exempted from reporting requirement if subscribers number is less than 10,000

 NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today decided to exempt internet service providers from the tariff reporting requirement during a financial year if the total number of its subscribers is less than ten thousand (<10,000) on the last day of the preceding financial year.


It also said the existing exemption given to access service providers in respect of tariff schemes offered to bulk customer in response to a tender process or as a result of negotiations between the access provider and such bulk customer has been extended to the ISPs also.


These directives came in the 59th Amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO) 1999.


The amendment said exemption from tariff reporting requirement granted to the small ISPs did not mean that the regulatory principles, guidelines, etc. would not apply to them.


However, keeping in view the small size of operations and resultant turnover of these small ISPs, the Authority feels that it is quite unlikely that these small-sized ISPs would violate the regulatory principles sought to be achieved by way of tariff reporting, especially in the competitive environment. Further, such exemption would help the small ISPs in reducing their compliance costs and once they achieve a subscriber base of 10,000 they will come under the ambit of tariff reporting requirement.


In an explanatory memorandum to the Amendment, TRAI said clause 7 of the Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999 stipulated that all service providers shall comply with the reporting requirement in respect of tariffs specified for the first time and also all subsequent changes; provided that in respect of tariff plans offered by a telecom access provider to bulk customers, such as corporates, small and medium enterprises, institutions, etc. either in response to a tender process or as a result of negotiations between the access provider and such bulk customer, the reporting requirement shall not apply.


The reporting requirement has been defined in clause 2 (l) of TTO 1999 as obligation of a service provider to report to the Authority, any new tariff for telecommunication  services    and/  or  any  changes  therein  within  seven working  days  from  the  date  of  implementation  of  the  said  tariff  for information and record of the Authority after conducting a self-check to ensure that the tariff plan(s) is/are consistent with the regulatory principles in all respects which inter-alia includes IUC compliance, non-discrimination and non-predation.


The amendment followed comments received from ISPs to a draft amendment released by the Regulator in September.

Click here to read the full amendment

Click here to read the press release

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