Trai recommends an apex body for data governance to promote data economy 

Trai recommends an apex body for data governance to promote data economy 

Trai finalised recommendations for the establishment of DCs, CDNs, and IXPs.


Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has advocated for an apex body for data governance and to guide India's digital economy as soon as the government introduced the new Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022.

Trai noted that a statutory body should be established at the centre, with suitable representation from the department of telecommunications (DoT) and the ministry of electronics and information and technology (MeitY).

Trai, after receiving comments from stakeholders on the consultation paper, has finalised recommendations for the establishment of data centres (DCs), content delivery networks (CDNs), and interconnect exchanges (IXPs) in India.

The recommendations were made by the telecom watchdog at a time when the government suggested creating a Data Protection Board to address data-related issues.

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To manage all matters relating to data, including digitisation, monetisation, sharing, and storage, a top organisation known as the Data Digitisation and Monetisation Council (DDMC) would be established by either changing the current law or creating a new one.

The authority recommends that trusted source procurement, which is applicable for licensees under Section 4 of the India Telegraph Act 1885, be made applicable for DCs (data centres) for security-sensitive equipment.

It might happen very soon that DCs companies will have to source equipment from trusted sources only. The government has designated the National Cyber Security Coordinator as the body in charge of determining whether or not a source is trustworthy. In addition, the regulatory body has said that the government should define certain fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the data centre sector. These incentives should be applicable to all the states while giving the states further flexibility to announce additional incentives.

The regulator further suggested CDN players should be registered with the department of telecommunications through a simple online registration process. DCs hosting CDNs are connected to each other and the internet cloud via internet exchange points (IXPs).

Trai has recommended bringing IXPs under a separate authorization in a unified licence that is much less onerous than internet service providers' licence authorization.

The authority also recommends that any entity that intends to provide IXP services in India can do so either under an ISP licence or UL-ISP authorization or under standalone UL-IXP authorization.

The authority also recommends that all existing players, including NIXI, be brought within this licensing framework in a stipulated time not exceeding six months.