Economy

TRAI Backs Net Neutrality, Says Providers Cannot Have Discriminatory Attitude

TRAI Backs Net Neutrality, Says Providers Cannot Have Discriminatory Attitude

Telecom regulator Trai on Tuesday issueed recommendations on Net neutrality, saying that service providers should not enter into pacts which discriminate on content.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said it was not in favour of any "discriminatory treatment" with data, including blocking, slowing or offering preferential speeds or treatment to any content.

All these recommendations apple to "Internet Access Services" (IAS), which TRAI has now clearly defined in its paper on recommendations.

India has been in the midst of the net neutrality debate in 2015, with protests from pro-neutrality supporters ensuring that discriminatory services such as Facebook's Internet.org, Free Basics and Airtel Zero were not allowed to continue in India.

The regulator will come up with recommendations which will be abiding to all mobile internet service providers.

More news: Coral Transplant Gives Hopes for the Great Barrier Reef

The regulator has however exempted content delivery networks within a telco's own network from any restrictions on non-discriminatory treatment.

The regulatory body pointed out that there should be no intrusion of equal access to internet to everyone, based on just the content. In a statement, the authority said it recommended that for monitoring and enforcement, Department of Telecom (DoT) may establish a multi-stakeholder body with framework for collaborative mechanism among the stakeholders. "However, specialised services may be offered by the service provider only if they are not usable (or offered) as a replacement for Internet Access Services; and the provision of such services is not detrimental to the availability and overall quality of Internet Access Services".

TRAI also recommends that TSP's be given the freedom to take any "reasonable" measures for traffic management and for network integrity and security, but adds that these measures must be transparent and fair, and that users should be notified of the impact of these measures.

Trai has also urged the government to establish a multi-stakeholder body with a framework for collaborative mechanism among the stakeholders for the goal of monitoring and enforcement.


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