India’s new government reportedly plans to replace the telecoms regulator (TRAI) with a ‘super regulator’ covering the entire communications sector.
According to CNBC TV18, the new body, the Communication Commission, would continue to have the same powers as the TRAI, but it its mandate would expand to cover the affairs of other regulators.
This is not the first time the government has looked into setting up an over-arching body to oversee multiple industry segments. In response to the convergence of IT, telecoms and media, a bill was introduced to parliament in 2003 for a combined regulator. The bill was never passed.
A number of countries in Asia have combined their broadcasting and telecoms regulators to create a unified regulator to deal with overlapping issues stemming from convergence.
Hong Kong merged its Broadcasting Authority, Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority and the Telecommunications Authority into the Office of the Communications in 2012.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) was formed through the merger of the Australian Broadcasting Authority and the Australian Communications Authority in 2005.