Trai suggests light touch approach to regulate cloud services

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KOLKATA: The sector regulator has advocated a light touch approach to regulate cloud services and urged the telecom department (DoT) to lay out a broad framework for registration of an industry association of cloud service providers (CSPs).

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said, it would suggest the terms and conditions of registering the proposed CSP industry body once the government cleared its overall recommendations on cloud services issued Wednesday.

Such terms and conditions, it said, would include the eligibility criteria, entry fees, period of registration and the governance structure of the proposed cloud services provider industry body.

The Trai has also suggested that proposed industry body of CSPs would prescribe the code of conduct for its functioning which would have to be adhered to by all members.

According to Trai, regulating CSPs through their proposed industry body would be the “most appropriate framework” as it would “create an environment to speed up investments and growth, and also have the capability to control restrictive and anti-consumer practices”.

The sector regulator has also tasked the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) to develop cloud services inter-operability standards in India.

The TSDSI is a key agency comprising senior officials of DoT, research bodies, telecom operators and network vendors that was constituted a few years ago to suggest Indian security standards for telecom products, including mobile devices running on Indian networks.

According to the sector regulator, the term cloud computing or `CC’ is used to describe a range of delivery models” that offer users an “elastic pool of shareable computing resources”.

The National Telecom Policy 2012, it said, had recognised that cloud computing would significantly speed up design and roll out of services, enable social networking, participative governance and e-commerce on a scale not possible with traditional technology solutions.

The telecom regulator has also mooted a cloud service advisory group (CSAG), which would “function as an oversight body” to periodically review the progress of cloud services and advise government on the next set of steps.

Such an advisory group, it said, could include representatives of state IT departments, consumer advocacy groups, industry experts, representatives of law enforcement agencies and MSME (ministry of micro, small & medium enterprises) associations.

The regulator, however, has recommended that DoT keep a close watch on the functioning of the proposed cloud services industry body to ensure transparency and fair treatment to all CSP members.

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