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Continue providing hard copies of telephone bills as default option: Trai

Trai said telecom operators could send electronic copies of the bills to consumers only after their explicit consent.

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The regulator has fixed 5 days for service providers to respond to interconnection seekers with a draft interconnect pact

Telecom operators will have to continue providing hard copies of to their subscribers without any cost as a default option, sector regulator said Monday.

The (Trai) said telecom operators could send electronic copies of the bills to consumers only after their explicit consent.

"The current provision of providing hard copy of the bill free of cost as default option as per present provisions shall continue," said after reviewing provisions for sending printed bills to postpaid subscribers.

The regulator, however, said if any customer opts for receipt of the bill through e-mail instead of hard copy, the service providers can supply the same after obtaining explicit consent from the consumers.

In an Open House Discussion in February, telecom operators pleaded to for changing the default option of sending hard copy of the bill to consumers to citing reasons such as environmental concern, cost savings, timely bill delivery, and claiming that 90 per cent of postpaid subscribers have opted for paperless option.

The regulator after the discussion with all the interested parties realised that half of the country's population is not and the paper industry in is not forest-based but engages around 5 lakh farmers from whom more than 90 per cent of the industry's wood requirement is sourced.

The stakeholders also argued that in default option, the onus of printing the bill will shift to subscribers as many of them will need its hard copy in cases including claiming input credit of the goods and services tax.

First Published: Mon, March 25 2019. 20:06 IST
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