MY BIZ: Trai is backing Net Neutrality all the way

Net neutrality Trai against discrimination of content

Net neutrality Trai against discrimination of content

Recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Net neutrality are broadly in line with its February 2016 regulation prohibiting discriminatory tariffs for data services.

Once India's telecom department accepts these recommendations, internet service providers will no longer be allowed to carve up India's internet into slow and fast lanes, throttle speeds, or discriminate against content in any way. This was considered "gate-keeping" and creating "walled gardens" in cyber space which is against the concept of Net neutrality. Even as telecom regulators around the globe are pushing the world towards a non-neutral internet, TRAI has been doing its bit to keep the internet free of discriminatory practices. "And, therefore, it is everybody's property.and, therefore, it should be open and accessible to everybody", Trai chairman R.S. Sharma told reporters.

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.

"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".

The regulator explicitly stated that all content should be available to consumers without any discrimination or restriction.

US Declares North Korea As A State Sponsor Of Terrorism
The latest USA sanctions still leave open the question of how far Trump is willing to go to bring North Korea to the table. These and other sanctions will surely give North Korea a hard time.

Further, Trai wants telecom operators to declare their traffic management practices as and when deployed and the impact it may have had on the users.

While these recommendations (in particular the license amendments) will only come into force if the Department of Telecommunications decides to implement them, TRAI quietly notes that pending consideration, it may regulate the "manner in which the current licensing requirement of unrestricted access to all content on the Internet is implemented and enforced".

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

Last week, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also reiterated that the Centre is firm about its pro-net neutrality stance and that the right to access the internet is non-negotiable.

Telecom operators say that as the traffic is going through their infrastructure, for which they have spent crores of rupees, they need to get some control to manage the traffic.

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