The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released its final report on Net Neutrality. The report has come down heavily on telecom companies and has laid down recommendations that will enshrine aim to make sure that internet in India remains free and fair. “User rights on the Internet need to be ensured so that Telecom Service Providers/Internet Service Providers (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,” Net Neutrality Committee has recommended.
You can read the complete report here.
Regarding the OTT services like WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger are concerned, the committee recommends that such application services should be actively encouraged and that regulatory norms are not required for messaging OTTs.
“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,” it added.
The primary goals of public policy in the context of Net Neutrality should be directed towards the achievement of developmental aims of the country by facilitating “Affordable Broadband”, “Quality Broadband” and “Universal Broadband” for its citizens, the committee recommended.
User rights on the Internet has to be ensured, so that TSPs/ISPs do not restrict 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, the report said.
Unreasonable traffic management, exploitative or anti-competitive in nature should not be permitted. Legitimate network management and application-agnostic control may be used. Application-specific control within the “Internet traffic” class should not be permitted, the report states.
Traffic management practices like DPI should not be used for unlawful access to the type and contents of an application in an IP packet. Improper (Paid or otherwise) Prioritization should not be permitted. Application-agnostic congestion control being a legitimate requirement cannot be considered to be against Net Neutrality. Application-specific control within the “Internet traffic” class is against the principles of Net Neutrality.