What are the Responsibilities of DoT?

  • May 28, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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India is home to the world’s second largest telecommunications sector. To boost this sector, the Department of Telecommunication, commonly abbreviated as DoT, plays a major role.


In this article, we will discuss the responsibilities of DoT.

History of Telecommunications in India

Before we begin to discuss DoT, it is crucial to understand how telecom began in India. Until the year 1850, the postal means of communication was the only means of communication. But in 1850, things changed when an experimental electric telegraph was started for the very first time in India between Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) and Diamond Harbour (south suburbs of Kolkata, on the Hooghly River’s banks). In 1851, it was opened so that the British East India Company could use it. 


Subsequently, telegraph’s construction began throughout India. In 1854, when telegraph facilities were made available to the public, a separate department was opened. Dr. William O’Shaughnessy of the Public Works Department had pioneered the telegraph and telephone in India and worked towards the telecom’s development in the country. In early 1881, telephone exchanges were opened by Oriental Telephone Company Limited of England in Calcutta (Kolkata), Bombay (Mumbai), Madras (Chennai) and Ahmedabad. The first formal telephone service was established on 28th January, 1882 and had a total of 93 subscribers in its early stage.


From 1902 onwards, India drastically changed from cable telegraph to wireless telegraph, radio telegraph and trunk dialing. About 39 years ago, in 1985, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) was formed and was responsible for telecom services in the entire country.  

What is the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)?

The Department of Telecommunications, or DoT, works under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications. As discussed earlier, DoT has been in existence since 1985. It is tasked with managing matters related to communication mediums like telegraphs, telephones, wireless, data, facsimile and telematic services. Information is provided on DOT’s units, public grievances, acts, legislations, regulations, plans, telecom policy, network status, financial data, internet services, etc. Details of access services, satellite communication, infrastructure provider and telemarketing are also available.


The vision of DoT is to provide secure, reliable, affordable and high quality converged telecom services anytime and anywhere for an accelerated inclusive socio-economic development. 

What are the Major Responsibilities undertaken by the DoT?

DoT has the following key responsibilities which help in the growth and development of the telecom sector in India:

  • In order to accelerate the growth of the telecommunication services in India, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) formulates and develops policies. 
  • DoT is essentially responsible for granting licenses for various telecom services, such as granting ISP license to those who want to provide internet services in India. 
  • This department is also responsible for frequency management in radio communication in close cooperation with the global institutions. 
  • In addition to this, wireless regulatory measures are administered by DoT by monitoring the Indian users’ wireless transmission within the Indian geographical borders.

Acts, Rules, and Regulations of the DoT

In order to regulate and monitor the different elements of the telecom sector in India, DoT ensures that certain acts and rules are followed in India. These acts and rules are mentioned below:

  • Telecommunications Act, 2023
  • India Wireless Act, 1933
  • Indian Telegraph Rule
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) Act, 1997
  • Subordinate Legislations
  • Indian Telegraph Act
  • Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules

What are Statutory Bodies of DoT?

The statutory bodies of the Department of Telecommunication are the following:

  • TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal)
  • TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)
  • Controller General Of Communication Accounts (CGCA) 

Let’s discuss them below.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)

TDSAT was set up, in 2000, to bring functional clarity and strengthen the regulatory framework and dispute settlement system in the telecom sector. TDSAT consists of a chairperson and 2 members that are appointed by the Government of India. This tribunal has the power to exercise jurisdiction over matters related to telecom, IT, broadcasting and airport tariff.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

TRAI was set up, in 1997, by the Act of Parliament. It is responsible for regulating telecom services such as fixation and revision of tariffs for telecom services which were previously vested in the central government. The primary objective of the TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent environment for policy which levels the playing field and helps in fair competition. 

Controller General Of Communication Accounts (CGCA) 

The Controller General of Communication Accounts (CGCA) is an attached office of DoT. It is responsible for monitoring the functions delegated by DoT to the field offices. It is also responsible for the management of Bank Guarantees of access service licenses and carrying out their half yearly review for revision of BG amount. It is also tasked with monitoring the rationalization process of all the decentralized licenses by field units. 

What are the Functions of DoT?

Let’s discuss the functions of the Department of Telecommunications:

  • In relation to telegraphs, telephones, wireless, data, facsimile, and telematic services, among other kinds of communication, DoT creates policies, oversees licenses, and coordinates activities.
  • It upholds international cooperation in telecommunication-related matters, including those pertaining to international telecommunication organizations like Asia Pacific Telecommunication (APT), International Telecommunication Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), International Mobile Satellite Organization (INMARSAT), Radio Communication Sector (ITU-R), Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), Development Sector (ITU-D), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and its Radio Regulation Board (RRB).
  • It encourages telecoms research and development as well as standardization.
  • Additionally, it is in charge of promoting private telecom investment.
  • DoT offers financial support for telecommunications technology research and study.
  • It oversees TDSAT, TRAI, and the Digital Communications Commission.
  • It also oversees the completion of land acquisition, land purchase, and land works related to telecommunications.
  • Finally, it takes care of everything related to the Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT). 


The telecommunications sector is one of the most important sectors in our country, and to ensure that this sector continues to grow and develop, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) plays a crucial role. This department allows businesses to provide telecom services since it grants them a license or authorization to do so. If you need assistance in obtaining a UL VNO License, ISP License or NLD License, get in touch with Registrationwala.

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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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