No more wireless internet at cafes and airports

If the government has its way, accessing the internet using wifi hotspots at airports and cafes just might become a thing of the past.  It might happen because of the way "cyber cafes" are defined in the Information Technology Act.  The IT Act defines a cyber café as any facility which as part of its business offers internet access to people. The The government has sought feedback on a draft regulation to govern the working of cyber cafes.   The draft regulation can be found here.  The draft regulations requires every cyber cafe to have a license and give internet access to people after they prove their identity to the satisfaction of the cyber café.  The cyber cafés are required to maintain the logs of users and of websites accessed by users. Cyber cafes are also required to ensure that their service is not utilised by people for any illegal activity or for viewing pornography.  There are requirements on the physical layout of the cyber cafe -- for example, they need to prominently display a board stating that users may not view pornography. These regulations by their very nature are designed for a traditional cyber café where people use computer terminals provided by the cyber café owner and access the internet.  But because of the waycyber café is defined in the Act, most public wifi hotspots would be called a cyber café and thereby be regulated by the cyber café guidelines.  So the local café which provides wireless access to its patrons would have to get a licence and follow other cyber café guidelines.  Since the draft guidelines place enough legal responsibility on a cyber café that many café and other public places which offer wireless internet would rethink their strategy of providing this service. You can send in your feedback to the draft guidelines by the 28th of February to grai@mit.gov.in

Comments

apar's picture

with regard to your concerns on wi-fi hotspots I think there are DOT regulations already covering this. Even as a lawyer its still not quite clear whether the DOT regulations or these rules will apply in isolation or in conjunction. If one has to be risk averse then in my view the rules will act as an additional layer of regulation over the existing DOT regulations. you can check out the DOT regulations here - http://www.dot.gov.in/isp/Wi-%20fi%20Direction%20to%20ISP%2023%20Feb%2009.pdf
Jay's picture

On my wish list : Cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore should have Free Wi Fi facility across the city. The Telecom revolution brought about the tele-density and helped the consumers across India to benefit from the mobile telephony. I also wish that some day India has every village and town covered with Free Wi Fi facility for students in particular first and every Indian next.
Vicky Shah's picture

Free Wi-Fi should be available and is possible. But a big implementation challenge is there ahead. Firstly, all telecom should have a strict KYC for issuing cell numbers. After this whoever wishes to use free wifi needs to register their number with wireless provider and should be able to access the connection. TIKONA provides wifi on an accounting package at various places in mumbai. ALL OPERATORS NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. This is possible only if all are in sync. In US they are providing free wifi. If all concern parties genuinely try to work this is possible. The amount of money involved in fruads like 2G, etc... would have been sufficient for infrastructure setup for such activity. My thoughts. Vicky Shah.
wireless internet access's picture

Cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore should have Free Wi Fi facility across the city. The Telecom revolution brought about the tele-density and helped the consumers across India to benefit from the mobile telephony.
malar's picture

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artix points hack's picture

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Dinesh's picture

<a href="#comment-9944" rel="nofollow">@Jay </a> I am afraid of health issues it might bring to us in future. Smart city does not mean WIFI city.

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