Telecom operator\u2019s association COAI has written to the Centre that with Public Data Office Aggregators (PDOAs) having no obligation to offer interception and monitoring facilities, it could threaten data privacy and national security. It also raised the issue that consumers\u2019 interest could be adversely impacted as Public Data Office (PDOs) and PDOAs will offer internet services without licence, which puts them outside the regulatory ambit of Trai. The objections of the industry body are based on Trai\u2019s recommendations for introducing PDOs and PDOAs for public Wi-Fi hotspots under a registration. \u201cIn the proposed structure, the PDOAs have no obligation to offer lawful interception and monitoring facilities. Further, activities as subscriber registration and verification have been left to the discretion of PDOAs and they have been permitted to even outsource these activities, which is a serious threat to data privacy and national security,\u201d COAI director general Rajan S Mathews said in a letter to telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan. Mathews added that as per the Trai Act, the authority is empowered to regulate only the licensed service providers and not unlicensed entities. \u201cThe provision of internet services by unlicensed operators will be completely detrimental to the consumer interest as Trai will become ineffectual in regulating the unlicensed entities on key aspects such as tariff, consumer redressal, billing, net neutrality, quality of service etc, which are critical aspects for protection of consumer interests,\u201d he said. COAI said that the provision of PDOA and PDO model coupled with the proposed de-licensing of V-band spectrum will enable the unlicensed service providers to de-facto offer internet services with limited mobile facility. \u201cThis will pave the way for large foreign entities to enter the Indian access services market with zero investment, no licence and no obligations to the Indian government. This is evident from one of the media reports, which clearly indicates that large foreign entities are supporting the delicensing of V-band so that they can offer access services without being subjected to any licensing regime, revenue share and security requirements,\u201d it added. The association said, \u201cSuch a regime will effectively discredit the efforts of licensed service providers by putting them in a non-level playing field, which have been providing services legitimately by following licensing requirements and using the licensed spectrum\u201d. The issue of Trai\u2019s recommendations on public Wi-Fi has become a rallying point for several industry associations as they have been complaining to the Prime Minister\u2019s Office and the Department of Telecommunications about the suggestion not meeting the requisite regulatory aspects. Earlier this month, the Internet Service Providers Association of India and industry body Assocham wrote to the PMO and the DoT to review Trai\u2019s recommendation allowing PDOAs and PDOs to provide internet through Wi-Fi without a licence, which they claim violates the Indian Telegraph Act and Trai Act.