wnol.info July 21 2018

Trai To Issue Suggestions On Net Neutrality Today

July 21 2018, 12:14 | Guillermo Bowen

Trai To Issue Suggestions On Net Neutrality Today

Trai To Issue Suggestions On Net Neutrality Today

'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.

Trai had partially addressed the topic of Net neutrality in February 2016 when it ruled in favour of prohibiting discriminatory tariffs for data.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Tuesday one-upped the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States by broadly supporting the idea of a free and open Internet. First, "such services are not usable or offered as a replacement for Internet access services"; and second, "the provision of such services should not be detrimental to the availability and overall quality of Internet access services".

In India, the whole debate over net neutrality erupted in 2015 when Trai came out with a consultation paper on the regulatory framework for over-the-top services.

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Trai has also suggested changing licence terms of ISPs to explicitly restrict any form of discrimination in Internet access based on content. TRAI has added a rider calling for more transparency relating to arrangements between telecom companies and CDNs. 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 recommendation would restrict any form of discrimination or interference in the treatment of content because of telecom regulators entering into partnerships with third party platforms like Flipkart, Amazon or Netflix.

India's telecom regulator has backed net neutrality with a free and open internet, while allowing carriers or internet service providers to use some traffic management practices (TMPs) as long as they're transparent and their impact on users is declared. "The implementation of these regulations by the government of India would include formally issuing new executive orders to amend the telecom license conditions of service providers who have been licensed to operate in India by the government".

The country has been tussling with the issue of regulating internet service providers' ability to throttle traffic and create fast lanes for specific sources of content; TRAI has previously sought comments from the public on how to shape its rules. "Hence, such a heavy-handed approach is not necessary, as is now being proposed by TRAI", Mathews said.

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