US body, COAI, others, question Trai’s attempt to regulate cloud service providers

A US-India enterprise council, a digital rights group, know-how corporations and a telecom business physique have questioned the telecom regulator’s try to control cloud service suppliers (CSPs), with some arguing the authority doesn’t have the jurisdiction to take action whereas others saying that the likes of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware have been already underneath the watch of the IT ministry.

In its response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) session paper on cloud companies, the US India Business Council (USIBC) mentioned there’s greater than enough regulation of cloud companies within the business and Indian CSPs shouldn’t be topic to new regulation.

“Contrary to widespread misconception, CSPs in India do not exist in a legal vacuum, and are amply governed by various regulations including MeitY’s IT Act and MeghRaj, Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) TSP (telecom service providers) and OSP (other service providers) regulations,” it mentioned, including that it backed a light-touch regulation of CSPs.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), an business physique that represents personal telcos, too questioned Trai’s authority to control CSPs.

“CSPs do not fall within the same category of service providers as defined in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 (Trai) owing to the fact that CSPs merely use the existing connectivity provided by telecom service providers and do not constitute telecom service providers by themselves,” mentioned the business physique.

The Indian cloud computing market is presently valued at $2.2 billion and is anticipated to develop at 30% a 12 months to $7.1. billion by 2022, software program business physique Nasscom mentioned in its submissions.

“Additional regulation, of the kind being proposed in the CP, is likely to result in regulatory overlap with many other existing laws. TRAI should also note that the proposed draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 (PDP Bill) is likely to provide a comprehensive regulation on data and the same would apply to the CSPs,” Nasscom mentioned.

A digital rights group — Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) — agreed with the COAI’s view of questioning Trai’s jurisdiction within the matter, including that such a transfer can result in cartelization.

“It is important to establish that the mandate of creating framework for the registration of industry bodies for Cloud Service Providers should not be carried by the Trai as primarily it does not have the authority to regulate cloud services,” mentioned IFF.

The group highlighted that the cloud service suppliers present data know-how companies that are supervised by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and never by Trai. “… their main purpose is to provide information technology services, all regulation should fall within MEITY’s ambit presently and Trai cannot exert regulatory authority and powers to frame binding directions,” the rights group mentioned.

The telecom regulator in October had sought public views on parameters for corporations to develop into members of a cloud business physique and the probably governance construction, ought to there be single or a number of business our bodies which can be registered underneath the telecom division, charges that ought to apply to them, and so forth.

This, after the regulator in August 2017, had really helpful that each one cloud computing service suppliers within the nation above a sure enterprise threshold ought to develop into members of a cloud business physique that must be registered with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The Trai suggestion got here following a reference from the federal government underneath the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 which envisages the nation turning into a worldwide hub for cloud computing service.

“The entire process of the creation of industry bodies for cloud service providers brings to the fore the worry of cartelisation and its resulting anti-competitive effects,” mentioned IFF.

But Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) backed “light touch regulation for cloud services and the implementation” via business our bodies.

The telecom operator, nonetheless, mentioned that there shouldn’t be any overlapping regulatory oversight from a number of ministries and related regulatory our bodies. “It also needs to be ensured that the regulatory framework carried out by the federal government via applicable ministry, after sufficient session with business gamers, ought to be uniformly accepted by all the federal government departments and there shouldn’t be any separate requirement of adherence to further laws for provide of companies by the CSPs.

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