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Trai backs net neutrality but with conditions

Trai backs net neutrality but with conditions

That said, the internet should be non-discriminatory. The recommendations - which are the result of a long, multistage consultation process, according to TRAI - have been forwarded to the ministry of IT and Communication. Existing rules in the United States bar internet providers from blocking or slowing down access to content or charging consumers more for a certain type of content. Therefore, it is important that this platform be kept open and free and not cannibalized. Essentially, we are saying that keeping these overarching principles in mind that the internet remains open and free platform, we have given these recommendations.

"Those critical IoT services, which may be identified by DoT as satisfying the definition of specialised services, would be automatically excluded", it added. Does that mean Trai is not in favour of the latest development? What every country does is good for their own country.

I don't have any comments to make on what the USA is doing. What every country does is best for that country. The overarching goal was to keep the Indian context in mind.

"The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit restrictions on any sort of discrimination in Internet access based on the content being assessed, the protocols being used or the user equipment being deployed". The choice of accessing content on the internet should be left to me.

Again giving the example of a road, if there's an accident, then the toll road operator has the responsibility to clear the traffic. Backers of net neutrality have demanded against having any traffic management practices, except in cases of emergencies, such as natural disasters.

Consequently, at that time, TRAI barred discriminatory pricing of data services, including zero-rated plans such as Facebook's Free Basics and Airtel Zero, tackling net neutrality from a tariff perspective. Typically, it should be point to point.

Trai has also stated that Content Delivery Networks which enable telecom operators to deliver content within their network without going through public Internet should be exempted. They also say that any service provider or platform allowed to offer some content as cheaper or faster is conferred with risky amounts of power in gate-keeping. Specialized services require specialized kinds of resources. We have given a flavour of the services, and have said that Department of Telecommunications may specify what these would be.

You can read the recommendations here.

Asked about the fine that will be imposed for any violation, Sharma said the penalty for violation of licence conditions will also be applicable in such cases and no separate penalty had been proposed by the regulator for violation of net neutrality rules. It has suggested amendments to the existing telecom license agreements which will make the regime for non-discriminatory treatment of content robust.

Here's a video deconstructing just why net neutrality is a bad thing.

"Inclusion of IoT remains a huge concern, and we will need to look closely at this".