Such collaborations between telecom service and content providers that enable such a gatekeeping role should be “actively discouraged”, it added.
The panel said that national security is paramount, regardless of treatment of net neutrality.
Welcoming DoT’s stand on the issue, an official of a top operator said on condition of anonymity: “There is no proper, globally accepted definition of net neutrality”.
“After the TRAI report, we will take a structured view”. Users of WhatsApp, Skype, Hike and other such OTT services can continue sending messages without regulation or extra charges, the report says.
The report has been presented to India’s telecom regulatory authority, which will consider the DoT’s ideas and form its own recommendations for the government’s final call on new legislation. Noting that distinctions have been made between domestic and global calling applications, he said the attempt to bring in regulation was “not healthy and not acceptable”. “A copy of the report has additionally been despatched to TRAI”, Prasad informed ANI right here.
The DoT report on net neutrality is disappointing in its vagueness, ambiguity and for failing to clearly define net neutrality.
Also in question is how the network discrimination and traffic management rules will be interpreted and enforced.
The report goes on to state that telecom and broadband operators should be transparent about their traffic management policies and barred from exploitative measures like prioritizing bandwidth for specific apps.
Tariff plans offered by TSPs/ISPs must conform to the principles of net neutrality set forth in guidelines issued by the Government as licensor. “It completely abandons the principle of net neutrality”. And that is what the DoT report suggests that the sector regulator should check before approving any such plan being commercial.
The fight over preserving net neutrality (the right to use data as and how a consumer wants) is restarting and the first shot has been fired by NGO Telecom Watchdog. Complaints on tariff plans will be dealt with on a case by case basis. Imposition of penalties or financial isincentives could be considered if the principles of Net Neutrality are violated. “Those changes are essential to ensure that it will not be up to courts to decide whether Net Neutrality can be delivered across the European Union”. “The timing for this is apt, taking into consideration the exponential growth of content and applications on the Internet”.
“This is partial neutrality for the internet”. The committee has cited the need for a “graduated and calibrated” public policy response due to the existence of a pricing and regulatory arbitrage between TSPs like Airtel and Vodafone and Over-the-Top(OTT) VoIP calling applications likes Whatsapp and Skype. Telecom operators should now adapt to the new world of applications and connectivity.
The recommendation to selectively allow some zero-rating schemes is bad twice over. This will create another industry of haves and have nots. This might lead to consumers paying for such calls within India. Improper (Paid or otherwise) Prioritization should not be permitted. “OTT service providers are as much bound by the laws of India like any other business operating in the country”.
“This will disrupt VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and will also skew any further innovation in the same field which is need of the hour”, it said.