TRAI Weighs in Favour of Net Neutrality, Proposes License Amendments

TRAI Weighs in Favour of Net Neutrality, Proposes License Amendments

TRAI Weighs in Favour of Net Neutrality, Proposes License Amendments

'The core principles of net neutrality, non-discriminatory treatment of all content, treating internet as an open platform, we've upheld them, ' said Trai chairman RS Sharma. "No one owns Internet, so, it should be open and accessible to everyone", Sharma said.

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.

With that, India is one step closer to ensuring that net neutrality is enforced nationwide. While the regulator has not laid down a clear definition of specialised services, it said the DoT may identify these services, and the status should only be given if a service follows two broad principles.

The regulator will come out with a consultation paper on over-the-top (OTT) players soon.

The content mentioned includes all content, applications, services and any other data, including its end-point information, that can be accessed or transmitted over the internet. CDNs enable telecom deliver content within their network without going through the public internet in order to create a content ecosystem to drive user traction. "The proposed regulations are likely to give integrated operators an upper hand versus pure play connectivity providers".

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While the telecom department will have to take a call on the regulator's recommendations, TRAI has also reserved the right to regulate and enforce non-discriminatory access within its framework.

Making an exception for specialized services, the regulator said such services could be provided as long as the service provider wasn't resorting to them as a replacement for "Internet Access Services' that are at the heart of net neutrality".

However, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan Mathews said the suggestion to form a committee to review and decide on network management violations is "unnecessarily bureaucratic", and not in keeping with "light touch regulation or the ease of doing business".

Trai, in its recommendations on Tuesday, upholded free and fair access to internet in India, it barred internet service providers from discrimination or interference in content including blocking, slowing down or giving preferential speeds or treatment to any content on internet.

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