In a stern warning, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Friday gave all the licensees, including the telecom firms, internet service providers and satellite companies, one last chance to appoint a nodal officer for the trusted telecom portal by June 15, failing which action will be taken against them.
The nodal officer is responsible for providing information regarding a company’s telecom network to the national cybersecurity coordinator and some companies have not registered on the trusted telecom portal even after more than a year. The portal is being managed by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and operators need to share information about the company, the products they intend to connect to their network, product manufacturer and other related details on the portal for evaluation as a trusted product.
The requirement is part of a national security directive on the telecom sector that came into effect from June 15, 2021. As part of the directive, operators can only procure equipment from trusted sources.
The DoT had issued a letter on March 30, 2021, to all licensees to send the name of the nodal officer in the prescribed format to NSCS by April 10, 2021. After this another letter was sent on June 16, 2021, and a reminder was also issued on December 13, 2021.
In a letter issued to all licensees on Friday, DoT said, “those licensees who have not submitted an authorization letter for appointing a nodal officer for trusted telecom portal are requested to submit the same to the designated authority, i.e, national cyber security coordinator, latest by June 15, 2022, failing which action will be taken against those licensees.”
According to the new mandate, all telecom operators will have to submit all the details regarding their networks – core, access and transport equipment, and support systems — to the trusted portal managed by NSCS. The national cybersecurity coordinator will be the designated authority and the telcos have to provide information as and when sought by the coordinator.
The permission of the coordinator is required in case a telco is upgrading its existing network utilising telecom equipment not designated as trusted products.