Centre approves telecom authority’s recommendations on net neutrality

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality Gets Telecom Commission's Nod, New Telecom Policy Cleared

TRAI had earlier backed principles of a free and open Internet by recommending restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements that lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet.

A separate committee has been set up under the DoT to examine what these critical services will be.

India's decision to uphold Net neutrality assumes greater significance given that in the USA, the rules on Net neutrality were repealed.

The new regulations affirm the Indian government's commitment to a free and fair internet, Pahwa added. On the other hand, the US Federal Communications Commission has repealed the 2015 laws that aimed at upholding the broad principle of neutrality, giving consumers equal access to web content, and barring broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to content, or charging consumers more for certain types of content. It also kept "content delivery networks" out of the ambit of net neutrality.

Sundararajan also told the publication that internet traffic management by mobile companies will be monitored under the new regime.

The Department of Telecommunications didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Indians have been long arguing for fair services of the Internet.

The framework of Net Neutrality was first laid by TRAI a year ago in response to the public comment on the principles of Net Neutrality.

However, there are few internet services exempted from the laid down rules, termed "critical IOT services" and "specialized services" by TRAI chairman R S Sharma.

Pahwa was at the forefront of India's first battle to preserve net neutrality in 2015, when Facebook's plan to provide free internet to hundreds of millions of Indians came under huge public pressure. "Unlike the U.S., where the FCC has gone back and is essentially opposing net neutrality, India has now the strongest net neutrality regulations in the world", he added.

The inter-ministerial Telecom Commission Wednesday cleared the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (Trai) suggestions on net-neutrality that bar service providers from discriminating against internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access.

Internet service providers who break the rules could lose their licenses to operate in India.

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