Seeks India-specific policy and a think-tank with best talent to deal with the complex digital world
GN Bureau | July 16, 2015
India specific net neutrality approach is at the core of the report submitted by the Department of Telecom panel on net neutrality. The report on net neutrality committee headed by AK Bhargava has been made public and it makes a case for free and fair internet.
The report says "considering the large internet user base and the critical role that Internet plays in our economic, social and political space, India should take a rational approach and initiate action in making an objective policy, specific to the needs of our country. The timing for this is apt, taking into consideration the exponential growth of content and applications on the internet".
See full report here
The panel says that "in order to deal with the complexities of the new digital world, a think-tank with best talent may also be set up".
It is also critical of the telecom companies and their approach.
Here are few recommendations of the panel:
User rights on the Internet need to be ensured so that TSPs/ISPs do not restrict the ability of the user to send, receive, display, use, post any legal content, application or service on the Internet, or restrict any kind of lawful Internet activity or use.
OTT application services have been traditionally available in the market for some time and such services enhance consumer welfare and increase productivity. Therefore, such services should be actively encouraged and any impediments in expansion and growth of OTT application services should be removed.
There should be a separation of “application layer” from “network layer” as application services are delivered over a licensed network.
Specific OTT communication services dealing with messaging should not be interfered with through regulatory instruments.
The existence of a pricing arbitrage in VoIP OTT communication services requires a graduated and calibrated public policy response. In case of OTT VoIP international calling services, a liberal approach may be adopted.
However, in case of domestic calls (local and national), communication services by TSPs and OTT communication services may be treated similarly from a regulatory angle for the present. The nature of regulatory similarity, the calibration of regulatory response and its phasing can be appropriately determined after public consultations and TRAI’s recommendations to this effect.
For OTT application services, there is no case for prescribing regulatory oversight similar to conventional communication services.
Legitimate traffic management practices may be allowed but should be “tested” against the core principles of net neutrality.
General criteria against which these practices can be tested are as follows:
Traffic management is complex and specialized field and enough capacity building is needed before undertaking such an exercise.
Managed services are a necessary requirement for businesses and enterprises, and suitable exceptions may be made for the treatment of such services in the Net Neutrality context.
Tariff plans offered by TSPs/ISPs must conform to the principles of net neutrality set forth in guidelines issued by the Government as Licensor. TRAI may examine the tariff filings made by TSPs/ISPs to determine whether the tariff plan conforms to the principles of net neutrality.
Content and application providers cannot be permitted to act as gatekeepers and use network operations to extract value in violation of core principles of net neutrality, even if it is for an ostensible public purpose.
A clause, requiring licensee to adhere to the core principles of net neutrality, as specified by guidelines issued by the licensor from time to time, should be incorporated in the license conditions of TSP/ISPs. The guidelines can describe the principles and conditions of net neutrality in detail and provide applicable criteria to test any violation of the principles of net neutrality.
New legislation, whenever planned for replacing the existing legal framework, must incorporate principles of net neutrality. Till such time as an appropriate legal framework is enacted, interim provisions enforceable through licensing conditions as suggested by the committee may be the way forward.
Amid exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 outbreak and the 21-day nationwide lockdown, authorities are trying to discourage spread of rumours and misinformation through social media. Maharashtra Cyber Police came out with an advisory for WhatsApp users and admins during the COVID-19, even
Maharashtra has emerged the epicentre of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in the country with Mumbai reporting the highest number of cases in the state. With more and more healthcare providers getting infected, hospitals are becoming the hotbeds of virus perpetuation. On Monday Wockhardt hosp
As Indians switched off lights in homes and lighted lamps and candles Sunday night following prime minister Narendra Modi’s appeal as a gesture of solidarity in the fight against COVID-19, the power grid held up well despite the sudden drop in demand. In a short video message on Friday
Contrary to the perception that the elderly are more at risk from Covid-19, in India as many as 41.88% of corona positive cases are between 21 to 40 years of age. Also, 32.82% positive cases are between 41 to 60 years, followed by 16.69% cases above the age of 60 years and 8.61% coronavirus positive cases
In view of the increasing number of COVID -19 cases in the country, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) has now advised that everyone must voluntarily wear a mask and especially those living in densely populated areas. Not just as a matter of maintaining personal hygiene
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, people of India have realized their collective strength, prime minister Narendra Modi said in a short video message Friday morning. He also urged people to light lamps Sunday night as a gesture of this collectivity. “Today marks nine days of the na