Net neutrality directions to benefit RJio, Bharti

  • Net neutrality directions to benefit RJio, Bharti

Net neutrality directions to benefit RJio, Bharti

When asked to comment on the US Federal Communications Commission proposal to roll back net neutrality rules of 2015, Sharma said Trai has kept the Indian context in mind while framing its recommendations.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Tuesday released the much awaited recommendations on "Net Neutrality" in which it has defined Internet access services, in order to remove any ambiguity. TRAI previously prevented Facebook from pushing Free Basics, a zero-rated service that granted access to select sites and services on its platform for free, while operating as a gatekeeper that could decide which sites would be allowed in.

"The use of Internet should be facilitated in such a manner that it advances the free speech rights of citizens, by ensuring plurality and diversity of views, opinions and ideas", recommended TRAI.

In its recommendation order, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has indicated that these principles of non-discrimination and equal access can be brought into force with amendments to the license agreements that govern bodies which provide Internet services in India. "They may also take reasonable measures to preserve integrity and security network, for provision of emergency services, implementation of an order of the court or direction of the government, or in pursuance of an global treaty", the sector regulator said. CDNs are a layer in Internet networks (outside public Internet), used by content generators to store their data at suitable geographical locations. This means that cellular service providers who have their own content platform and are offering these services on their own network (content delivery networks) can charge differential pricing. "This may give such an integrated operator advantage versus a pure play connectivity provider", Edelweiss Research said in a note.

"This principle would apply to any discriminatory treatment based on the sender or receiver, the network protocols, or the user equipment, but not to specialised services or other exclusions".

"ISPs may take reasonable measurements for traffic management, provided the same are proportionate, transient and transparent".

The regulator has recommended that DoT establish a multi-stakeholder body comprising telecom operators, ISPs, content providers, civil society organisations and consumer representatives to monitor and probe violations.

If adopted by the Modi government, Internet service providers would not be able to engage in practices such as "blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content".