TRAI releases recommendations on net neutrality

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The telecom regulator on Tuesday upheld the basic principles of net neutrality, and prohibited internet service providers from making any discrimination in internet access.

The telecom regulator said that the service providers can not enter into any any kind of discrimination on internet services based on content, apps or any other service or data that travels on the internet. Over-the-top services refer to applications or services that is delivered over the internet, and does not involve an operator. "No one owns Internet.so, it should be open and accessible to everyone", Sharma said, suggesting that service providers should not indulge in gate-keeping of this important platform. "It has also expressed other views relating to the applicability of the principle; acceptable traffic management practices and permissible exceptions", the regulator said.

Lauding the involvement of content providers, service providers, access providers, research, and academia to monitor violations and make recommendations to the authority on regulations and standards, Nasscom said such a uniform approach would facilitate fair, alert and effective implementation of Net Neutrality.

In US, the net neutrality issue is gaining momentum with telecom regulator Federal Communications Commission (FCC) taking back the 2015 net neutrality rules.

The 'recommendations on net-neutrality' come close to three years after the first committee was established by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in January 2015. Services where quality is extremely critical.

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The regulatory body has also proposed restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet. They should not throttle, they should not provide fast lanes, they should not block, that is what it is.

"Special provisions for IoT (Internet of Things), specialised services and CDNs (content distribution network) reflect it is a forward looking recommendation that takes into account the needs of the foreseeable future", IAMAI added.

This comes as welcome news at a time when in USA the regulatory agency for that country, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), intends to repeal net neutrality rules, that were adopted in 2015, to allow telecom companies to regulate and charge for access to websites.

TRAI recommends that the license terms of the ISPs should be modified to include these terms as part of the conditions under which they are allowed to offer Internet services. Backers of net neutrality have demanded against having any traffic management practices, except in cases of emergencies, such as natural disasters. This concern has also been noted in recommendations,"said Apar Gupta".

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