Save the Internet

As promised earlier, the Indian telecom department has revealed its report on net neutrality issue. The report says that the Over The Top services and apps like  WhatsApp, Viber, Skype and others shouldn’t be regulatory. It, however, further called ‘regulatory oversight’ on those services that offer local calls.

A six-member committee has appointed in January this year by DoT to look into the issue, has suggested a new law regarding the net neutrality. The law incorporates principles of net neutrality in replacing the Indian Telegraph Act.

“The committee favours regulatory oversight on the communication service providers,” reads the report. “The committee believes that for (other) OTT application services (including those offering messaging and international voice calls), there is no case for prescribing regulatory oversight similar to communication services.”

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.

After getting the public consultation and the telecom regulator’s recommendations, the government will take a decision on the policy around net neutrality.

The DoT panel has also called for a new legislation that “when planned for replacing the existing legal framework must incorporate principles of net neutrality”. Till then, interim provisions can be enforced through inserting a clause in licence conditions of telecom service providers (TSPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) to include adherence to principles of net neutrality, it said.

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