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Centre moves Supreme Court to change telecom spectrum allocation process

In an application seeking clarification of the 2012 judgment, the Union government through the Ministry of Communications has argued that competitive auctions mandated by the 2G judgment, may not always be suitable for either technical or economic reasons.

In the context of using spectrum for discharge of non-commercial sovereign functions like security, safety, disaster preparedness, etc., the government has contended that,

“Such non-commercial use would squarely fall within the scope of subserving the common good … auction as the exclusive mode may present some issues in the relevant assignment (e.g., in the case of captive use, radio backhaul or one time or sporadic use).”

The Union Ministry added that administrative allocation is required when demand is lower than supply or for space communication.

In such cases, it would be more optimal and efficient for spectrum to be shared by multiple players, rather than being broken up into smaller blocks for sole purpose of exclusive assignment, it has been submitted.

As per the plea, by virtue of the 2012 ruling, all administrative allocations made since are only treated as interim and provisional.

“This (administrative allocation) will be crucial … (in) enabling the Union of India to undertake dynamic decisions as may be required, to realise the full potential of telecommunications,” it has been argued.

Source: Barandbench

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