August 26, 2009

PTA Issues Regulations for Unsolicited and Obnoxious Communications

Islamabad: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), has promulgated new regulations namely “Protection from Spam, Unsolicited, Fraudulent and Obnoxious Communication Regulations, 2009” to protect the consumer interests as mandated under the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996.The objective of these regulations is to protect telecom consumers from spam, fraudulent, unsolicited and obnoxious communications including calls and SMS.

These regulations required all the telecom operators to setup standard operating procedures (SOPs) for controlling SPAMs, fraudulent, unsolicited and obnoxious communications, in accordance with the given timeframe. Under these regulations, telecom operators will establish procedures for blacklisting of subscribers whose subscription has been terminated on such fraudulent activities within sixty days from the date of gazette notification of these regulations.

They will also establish “Do Not Call Register” (DNCR) within ninety working days from the date of gazette notification of these regulations for avoidance of receiving unnecessary and unwanted calls by the subscribers from telemarketers. Moreover, a round the clock complaint handling mechanism in order to facilitate the consumers will also be established by the telecom operators. Launching of media campaign in electronic and print media to educate subscribers and general public of the available preventive and subsequent complaint mechanism for handling spamming, unsolicited, fraudulent and obnoxious communications has also been made compulsory for the telecom operators in the said regulations.

Chairman PTA, Dr. Mohammed Yaseen said that PTA had been working on these regulations since long. A consultation paper on spam, unsolicited and obnoxious calls was issued to take all the stakeholders onboard and feedback received from them was incorporated in these regulations.

It may be noted that the Authority has already promulgated the Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations, 2009 in March, 2009.The notification of the Protection from Spam, Unsolicited, Fraudulent and Obnoxious Communication Regulations, 2009 is yet another milestone achieved by the telecom regulator to safeguard the consumer rights and interests. It is expected that, with the promulgation of these regulations telecom consumers may approach telecom operators for deterrence from unwanted, undesired and uncalled for communication and operators are required to facilitate the consumers under these regulations.


Khurram A.Mehran

Director (PR)