The Rise of Illegitimate Internet Service Providers

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A faster and affordable internet is always on high priority of Indian users. National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Akamai, the Telecom Ministry forecast 730 million Internet users are anticipated in the country by 2020. There were 391.50 million Internet subscribers as of December 31, 2016. A significant hike in the penetration and proliferation of Internet has been seen over the past 2 years. Local small ISPs are playing a major role in this process. The high-speed internet service with a cheaper cost may point to ‘illegal or ‘unlicensed’ internet service provider.

These small companies buy bandwidth from major telecom operators to set-up and sell internet services in the small community. However, in many cases, they fraudulently start selling to households and corporates and hence such Unauthorized ISPs may become a major threat to National Security. These ISPs are unrecognized so they stave off all the checks and measures like;

  • A license issued by Government.
  • Mandatory Regulatory guideline.
  • logs and records of searches made by users.
  • Monitoring facility.

This ISP, do not have the necessary tools or skillsets, and hence any Anti-National element may use it for malpractices on the Internet without coming under the scanner.

In a recent crackdown by UP-ATS along with the department of telecommunications (DoT), six illegal internet service providers, who were operating without a legal license, were busted in Noida, Greater Noida, and Ghaziabad. They allegedly helped these Anti-National groups submerge their identities by sending calls made through the Internet to a SIM box capable to do the same.


According to an estimate, such illegitimate internet service providers have approximately 15,000 user base in Noida itself which neither maintain the weblog of their customers nor do they have any regulatory and monitoring facility accessible to them. The scenario came to light after monitoring wing of TRAI, Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) found the fraudulent usage of internet in large number. This illegitimate internet usage leads to some major concerns such as;

  • National security threat.
  • Huge revenue loss to the government.
  • Private data leakage.

As these illegal connections also posed a national security threat, they looped in ATS in the joint operation. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) teams are raiding across Noida to crack down on illegitimate broadband service provider causing huge revenue loss to the government.



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