The Other Service Providers (OSPs) are allowed Work From Home (WFH) facility by the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) subject to the fulfilment of prescribed conditions (such as submission of prescribed security deposit, interconnection through authorized service providers provisioned secured VPN, obtaining prior permission from the DOT) mentioned in the letter bearing reference no. 18-5/2009-CS-I issued by the DOT on October 07, 2011. As per the DOT guidelines, OSP operations means providing services like tele-banking, tele-medicine, tele-education, tele-trading, e-commerce, call centre, network operation centre and other IT Enabled Services, by using telecom resources provided by the authorised telecom service providers.
Due to prevailing COVID-19 concerns, the DOT vide its letter bearing reference no. 18-5/2015-CS-I (Pt.) dated March 13, 2020 has given the interim relief to the OSPs by relaxing the following OSP Terms and Conditions with respect to WFH facility:
- Relaxation granted up to April 30, 2020 (Relaxation Period).
- The requirement of security deposit and agreement for WFH facility for OSPs is exempted during the Relaxation Period.
- The requirement of authorized service providers provisioned secured VPN is exempted during the Relaxation Period. The OSPs are permitted to use secured VPN configured using “static IP” address by themselves for interconnection between home agent position and OSP centre with pre-defined locations. Here, the agents at home would be treated as Extended Agent Positions of the OSP.
- The requirement of seeking prior permission for WFH facility is exempted during the Relaxation Period. However, the OSPs are mandatorily required to provide prior intimation to the respective License Service Area (LSA) field units of DOT before starting WFH facility, during the Relaxation Period.
- The OSPs are required to submit the complete details for ‘Extended Agent Positions’ i.e. name, physical address and “Static IP” address assigned along with the prior intimation to the respective LSA field units of DOT.
- OSP to adhere all terms and conditions of the OSP registration including maintenance of all logs of the activities carried out by the Extended Agents.
- OSPs are required to maintain the CDRs/call logs for one year as per the existing guidelines.
It is further provided that any violation of the terms and conditions of WFH facility by any agent/employee or by OSP during the Relaxation Period would attract a penalty up to INR 500,000 (Indian Rupees Five Lakhs only) per WFH location which is in violation. Additionally, the DOT may also cancel the OSP registration.
The OSPs can file the prior intimation to the respective LSA field units of DOT through e-mail during the lockdown, followed by the submission of hard copies after the lockdown restriction eases.