TRAI backs Net neutrality

  • TRAI backs Net neutrality

TRAI backs Net neutrality

Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. regulator, recently said that it plans to roll back net neutrality rules that were adopted in America in 2015.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published its recommendations for upholding net neutrality guidelines (PDF) across the country today, and boy, do they look good - for consumers, that is.

Lauding the involvement of content providers, service providers, access providers, research, and academia to monitor violations and make recommendations to the authority on regulations and standards, Nasscom said such a uniform approach would facilitate fair, alert and effective implementation of Net Neutrality.

"The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit restrictions on any sort of discrimination in internet access based on the content being accessed, the protocols being used or the user equipment being deployed".

The US plan on net neutrality did not deter Trai chairman R.S. Sharma from spelling out recommendations backing a free internet.

As part of its recommendations, TRAI has also called for alterations to the terms of existing license agreements of Internet service providers, in order to reflect their adherence to the principles of non-discriminatory treatment of content.

In US, the net neutrality issue is gaining momentum with telecom regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) taking back the 2015 net neutrality rules. OTT is an application which is accessible over the Internet and companies offering this services ride on operator networks that offer Internet access services such as social networks, search engines and video aggregation sites.

The Oxford English dictionary defines net neutrality as "the principle that ISPs should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites".

All this should have been included in the TRAI proposals, he said, adding that the net neutrality framework in India should be in accordance with the needs of the nation.

"While this provides a considerable relief to providers of CDN services, it puts TSPs in a precarious position, if this recommendation is accepted by DoT", Walia said.

"There are some exceptions which have been allowed, but that is for services that don't mirror what is on the Internet, or are critical services which need to be specified by the government", Pahwa observed. They do however say that they will not discriminate and throttle based on content.

Industry body representing Internet firms Internet Association Mobile Association of India (IMAI) lauded the recommendations, calling them progressive and pragmatic, which recognise the requirements of expansion of digital services in the country.

These reasonable traffic management practices should be transparent and transient. This concern has also been noted in recommendations,"said Apar Gupta".