One of the most controversial topics in India, Net Neutrality is expected to be coming to an end soon as the telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government will soon come out with the report from sectoral regulator TRAI.
On the issue, Prasad stated clearly in a press conference, “Report of net neutrality will be out very soon but we are waiting for Trai report on the issue.”
Earlier this month, the telecom department has set up a panel to sort the issue and has submitted its report to the Telecom minister.
The net neutrality issue implies equal treatment be assigned to all internet traffic and no privileges should be awarded to any person, any company or any entity in exchange of payments or any other criteria.
Also, the Internet neutrality says that no company, government organization or Internet service provider should treat the Internet unequally, without any discrimination in the data usage related to different entities such as apps, websites, content, platform and more.
Taking citizen’s concern, TRAI had invited the stakeholders to comment on the issue and regulation of OTT services like WhatsApp and Skype. The regulatory has received more than 10 lakh of comments, for the same. Besides this, a six-member committee has also appointed in January this year by DoT to look into the issue.
In the meantime tenure of the then Trai chairman Rahul Khullar ended and the new head is yet to be appointed. “Announcement (of new Trai chairman) will be made very soon,” Prasad said.
The scenario was begun when Airtel started asking its subscribers to pay an extra amount for using the VoIP service through its network, few plans were also launched at that time. However, the firm has dropped it because of protest on social media.
Later on, the telco has introduced a new marketing platform, Airtel Zero, to allow the customers download and use any of the apps free of charge, however, data charges will be worn by the developers or the company publishing that application.
Apparently, the company is again breaking the Internet neutrality by dividing the country’s Internet traffic. It can be seen as a clear competition to the Reliance and Facebook venture in context to Internet.org.
With Internet.org, Reliance also broke the Internet neutrality by allowing access to the Reliance consumers only. What one can observe it like to use the services under the noble umbrella of the Internet.org, user need to be the part of Reliance network.
As of April 2015, there were no laws governing net neutrality in India.