Jaipur, November 28, 2017
Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, expressed his delight over the recommendation on net neutrality, released by The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today, stating, “CUTS has always advocated for the adoption of net neutrality principles in India, as they directly impact consumer welfare. This has been evident from our comments on each of the TRAI’s consultation papers. I want to congratulate TRAI for choosing net-neutrality and thus, placing consumer interest at the pinnacle.”
TRAI has backed the concept of net neutrality in its recommendation. In the recommendation, the TRAI has said, “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.”
Net neutrality has been one of the highly debated issues in the technology sector, across the world. While government/regulators of a few countries have supported the concept and a few thinking otherwise, a large number of countries are still contemplating their stand on the issue. With over two years of consultation process with the stakeholders and given the complexity of the issue, the TRAI’s recommendations are perfectly synced with consumer’s interest, which were also highlighted in CUTS responses to TRAI on the various consultation papers. An open and free internet has till date promoted inclusive growth and with these recommendations, it is envisaged to go a long way further.
The TRAI has taken care of key aspects, to avoid any loopholes in its recommendations, such as extending the scope of net neutrality to all license holders rendering internet services such as Unified Licenses, Virtual Network Operator Licenses, Universal Access Service Licenses and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service Licenses. Taking into due consideration, the technological evolution, Internet of Things (IoT) has also been brought into the ambit while keeping room for certain exclusions. The recommendations also focus on information disclosure, to empower consumer’s choice making by giving the service providers, flexibility to use their traffic management practices (TMPs), while informing consumers about the possible impact.
Thus, in aggregate, the recommendations are perfectly aligned with consumer’s interest and keep the avenues for innovation and entrepreneurship intact. Internet has fared well in the shape it has been in and not altering the DNA will ensure that the benefits are not lost.
The recommendation may be found at:
The press release is available at: