TRAI asks telemarketers to pay reconnection charge of up to Rs 5 lakh

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today decided to charge a reconnection fee of Rs 500 per telecom resource up to a maximum of Rs five lakh for those entities who satisfy the regulator that they have followed the regulations in this regard.


TRAI, which disconnected a total of 1.4 million telephones of unregistered telemarketers till 31 January, said this would serve as a further deterrent on misuse of telecom resources for soliciting business after meeting administration costs.


The regulator said the action had been taken following representations by some of these entities who said they and their agents had followed the regulations in this regard.


Under the fifteenth amendment to the rules, TRAI said such entities have to apply within 30 days for reconnection and satisfy the regulator in this regard.


Earlier this year, while noting that TRAI had received Rs1.52 crore as penalty from registered telemarketers, the government admitted that Unsolicited Commercial Communications (SMSs or calls) from persons not registered as telemarketers had not ceased.


Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Milind Deora told Parliament that such individuals deliberately masquerade themselves as “normal subscribers” even though their primary purpose for obtaining telecom resources is for telemarketing activities. However, he felt TRAI’s regulatory interventions have largely tempered the menace of Unsolicited Commercial Communications (UCC).  


A total of 1,80,000 unregistered telemarketers were blacklisted for two years till 31 January. 

With the implementation of these measures, the number of complaints regarding receipt of UCC from unregistered telemarketers has come down from around 45,000 per month in the month of August 2012 to around 12,000 per month in January 2014. 


The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulation 2010 has laid down a revised framework for UCC. These regulations came into force with effect from 27 September 2011. The National Do Not Call Registry (NDNC) has been renamed National Customer Preference Register (NCPR). The Telemarketers after registration from TRAI get permission to access the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR). 

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