TRAI has released 59th Amendment to the Telecommunication Tariff Order (TTO), 1999 on 21 November. TRAI 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.
Exemption from tariff reporting requirement granted to the small ISPs does 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.