FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at speaking at GSMA in Barcelona
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at speaking at GSMA in Barcelona

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) —The FCC took an important step to strengthen its relationship with its Indian counterpart, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). During a meeting on the sidelines of the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Chairman Pai and TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for cooperation between the two agencies. The nonbinding agreement sets out a framework for the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas through activities such as best practices sharing, bilateral workshops, and digital videoconferences.

To guide these efforts, the FCC and TRAI have determined topics of shared interest, including accelerating broadband deployment and aligning spectrum policy to meet increasing mobile broadband demand.

FCC Chairman Pai said, “I look forward to working with Chairman Sharma and his staff as both of our agencies strive to promote innovation, investment, and growth in communications technologies in order to bring digital opportunity to all of our people.”

Given the broader bilateral partnership between the United States and India, the FCC has long engaged with Indian counterparts on issues of telecommunication regulatory policy. Today’s agreement reinforces the ongoing positive working relationship between the FCC and TRAI and identifies opportunities for further collaboration in an increasingly interconnected world. To learn more about the International Bureau’s efforts to facilitate bilateral, regional, and multilateral engagement with the FCC’s regulatory counterparts around the world, please visit

An alumnus of Harvard University and the University of Chicago School of Law, Pai has a multitude of experience working in the telecom industry. Prior to becoming chair of the FCC, he served the agency for several years. He is the first Indian American to ever hold the position.

In India, zero-rated products, which allow providers to supply Internet content at low or no cost, were banned by the country’s telecom regulatory commission. A move that was made to keep the Internet “open and non-discriminatory,” according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Pai said he and TRAI chairman RS Sharma have known each other for years, and believes they both share a desire to bridge the digital divide.

“I have known him for a number of years and have met him several times. Obviously, he is a counterpart but I would like to think of him as a friend,” Pai said. “I have told him many times that the US-India relationship is a deep and enduring one and I am deeply committed to doing my part to make sure that between his government and mine, we keep that relationship strong and going.”

“Certain core principles of a free Internet, that Internet service providers shouldn’t be allowed to block lawful content must be at the heart of policy,” Pai recently said to Business Insider. “The principles must be upheld with the consideration that investment in infrastructure must be encouraged.”