Convergence Bill- The Regulatory Framework
naavi.org/CCB-note 2

The Communication Convergence Bill (CCB) will operate a regulatory mechanism that will revolve around the following functions:

1. Provide and monitor of Licences to four categories namely

a) Network Infrastructure Facilities
b) Network Services
c) Application Services and 
d) Content Application Services.
2. Determine appropriate  Tariffs and Rates for services
3. Manage “Frequency Spectrum Usage”
4. Lay down advertising codes for Content
5. Protect Consumer Interest
6. Lay down commercial and technical standards for the services
7. Adjudicate and enforce penalties on  violation of provisions through an adjudicating officer
8. Hear Appeals against such awards at the Communications Appellate tribunal
9. Monitor the system for anti national activities and intercept communication when required.
10. Take over communication facilities in times of emergency such as war or national calamity.

In order to administer the regulations a “Communication Commission of India” is proposed to be set up. The Commission will have a head office in New Delhi and regional offices in Mumbai, Calcutta, and Chennai. The Commission will consist of a Chairperson, 7 members and a Spectrum Manager, who will be an ex-officio member. The term of office of the Chairperson and the permanent members would be 5 years.

The Appellate Tribunal will consist of a Chairperson and not more than six members to be appointed by the Central Government.

A Spectrum Management Committee with the Cabinet Secretary as the Chairman and consisting of other members to be notified. Government will also notify an officer of the Government as “Spectrum Manager, Government of India” to act as the Member Secretary of the Spectrum Management Committee.

The Four categories of licences that will be regulated are defined as under.

1) Network infrastructure facilities include all of the following network facilities:

a) Earth stations
b) Fixed Links and Cables
c) Public Pay phone Facilities
d) Radio Communication Transmitters and links
e) Satellite hubs or
f) Towers, Poles, Ducts and Pits used in conjunction with other Network facilities 

2) Network Services may include all of the following network services

a) Bandwidth Services
b) Broadcasting Distribution Services
c) Cellular mobile Services
d) Customer Access Services or
e) Mobile Satellite Services

3) Application Services Include all of the following Application Services

a) PSTN Telephony
b) Public Cellular Telephony Services
c) IP Telephony
d) Public Pay Phone Service
e) Public Switched Data Service

4) Content Applications Services may include all the following Content Application Services. 

a) Satellite Broadcasting
b) Subscription Broadcasting
c) Terrestrial free to air TV Broadcasting
d) Terrestrial Radio Broadcasting

February 8, 2001

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