The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has backed the basic principles of an open and free internet in its recommendations on Net Neutrality released on Tuesday.
The guidelines issued by India’s telecom regulator state that no internet access service provider shall resort to any form of discrimination, restriction or interference in the treatment of content, including practices like blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds. “Nobody owns the internet. And, therefore, it is everybody’s property…and, therefore, it should be open and accessible to everybody,” TRAI chairman said.
Here are the key highlights from TRAI recommendations on Net Neutrality :-
- Discriminatory treatment of content is prohibited. Internet access services should be governed by a principle that restricts any form of discrimination or interference in the treatment of content, including practices like blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content.
- TRAI has kept content delivery networks (CDN) out of the regulation. CDNs enable telecom deliver content within their network without going through the public internet in order to create a content ecosystem to drive user traction. Telecom firms such as Airtel, Reliance Jio stand to gain.
- Internet of Things (IoT), as a class of services, is not excluded from the scope of the restriction on non-discriminatory treatment. However, critical IoT services, which may be identified by department of telecom as specialised services which could include tele-medicine, B2B services will be automatically excluded.
- TRAI has also recommended a watchdog along the lines of BARC India for enforcing Net Neutrality and proposed reasonable measures of traffic management, in line with Trai guidelines.
- International treaties, court orders, government order on blocking certain sites is exempt from these guidelines.