ISP License in India: The difficulties you will face

isp license

While you try to imagine yourself as a great entrepreneur, it’s always humbling to realize the difficulty that’s involved with fulfilling the legal requirements of starting a business. With the increased approach towards all things internet, the ISP market is getting crowded more and more with competitors. Each of them became a player after getting the ISP License cost.

And they had to face a lot of difficulties on the way.

The difficulties weren’t only limited to paying the bearing the ISP License cost in India, or signing the ISP License agreement in the end. In this article, we are going to introduce some parables that will stop you from filing the application on your own.

Lack of Understanding regarding the category of ISP License

Over your pursuit of searching for the answer to the question: how to get ISP License in India, you might have come across the three simplistic answers:

  1. Category A ISP License India: The category that’s applicable to provide internet access all over India.
  2. Category B ISP license India: The category that’s applicable to provide internet access to one of the major states of the country.
  3. Category C ISP License India: The category that’s applicable to provide internet access in one Secondary Switching Area.

These simplistic answers hold several complex meanings. Those only reveal themselves to you when you start the process of ISP License online registration.

In the process you’ll know the nuanced layers of categories and because the status of state always in India, considering the volatile political environment, you never know which category is applicable at what time.

The Difficulty facing the AGR dues

Remember the plight of Jio and Airtel, companies that touted that they are providing free internet and unlimited calling. We all fell for the offer – not knowing that these companies haven’t paid their AGR dues yet. Starting the ISP involves a fair amount of investment that comes after you’ve paid the ISP License fee.

Depending upon the scope of your ISP services, the additional ISP License price you might need to pay come under these AGR dues. If you’re a tad bit too ambitious, the business can fall before even rising. It’s one difficultly that you absolutely cannot ignore.

The Process of acquiring the ISP license

From the time you fulfil the pre-requisite to the time you get the ISP registration, you’ll face multiple issues in the following forms:

  1. Delay in company incorporation: The company registration process, although online, isn’t devoid of human element. It’s not the system that’s automatically registering your company, it’s the officials who run an assessment on you before that. If you fail in any of them, your company won’t be registered on time.
  2. Difficulty and gathering all the required documents: The documents you’re required to submit to DOT so that it can assess then and grant you the ISP License aren’t many. However, they are quite nuanced. Just getting these documents requires you to ask difficult questions and conduct a thorough investigation into your finances. Many aren’t comfortable in doing that.
  3. Signing the agreement with a bandwidth producer: As an internet service provider, you should know that you’re not actually producing the bandwidth. You’re merely buying it from a service provider and reselling it at an inflated price for profit. That requires legal documentation to which both parties can agree to.

Dealing with the policy changes of Department of Telecommunication

Like the roads in the village, the current digital environment of India is also “kaccha”. That makes it necessary to introduce and then reintroduce policies. Sometimes, these policies can impact the ISP License fees and process – sometimes midway of your ongoing registration process. You’ll face an enormous difficulty dealing with these changes.

If you don’t, your license and your license would be swept away by the policy tsunami.

Keeping in constant touch with the department

Because of the complexity of the process, and the changes to the policies, it becomes a necessity to be in touch with the Department of Telecommunication.

Unless you have a specialized branch in your office whose work is specifically to get notifications and replying to them, you’re seeing a long road between you and the ISP License.

How those ISPs got the required license?

Seeing the gravity and the intensity of the difficulties that you’ll face might’ve clicked a question in your mind – “How did they do it?”

Well, “they” or the existing ISPs didn’t lift a finger. They knew that getting an authorization is an endeavour that would make them commit time and resources that they don’t have.

Which is why, they delegated someone that task. That “someone” was the ISP License consultant. That consultant:

  1. Possessed complete understanding of the ISP categories
  2. Understood the steps involved with getting the ISP License
  3. Knew how to tackle the changing policies of Department of Telecommunication
  4. Kept in constant touch with the department and paid exclusive attention to the licenses.


So, what’s the parable to draw from these difficulties? You’ll face a lot of them, but you don’t have to face it alone, or at all.

If you’re a hands-on individual when it comes to fulfilling the legal requirements for your business, you can make an ISP license consultant stand with you. Or, if you’re someone solely dedicated to fulfil the technical requirements of the license. And thus, don’t want to be bothered by the legal requirements, you can delegate the ISP license consultant to conduct the entire process.


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