New Delhi: Telecom regulator has once again ignited the debate on net neutrality by issuing a pre-consultation paper on it which seeks to define the “core principles of net neutrality in the Indian context”.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said that the pre-consultation paper is an attempt to identify relevant issues in these areas, which will help it in formulating its views on the way forward for policy or regulatory interventions.
Trai has sought views on six question including what are the key issues that are required to be considered so that the principles of net neutrality are ensured.
It has asked what should be India’s policy or regulatory approach in dealing with issues relating to net neutrality?
Trai also ventured into the controversial issues of traffic management particularly of services that consume high bandwidth. “There is a fine line between correctly applying traffic management to ensure a high quality of service and wrongly interfering with internet traffic, for instance, to limit applications that threaten the telecom service provider’s own lines of business,” said Trai.
It said that in the absence of a clear regulatory framework on net neutrality, advanced traffic management techniques can potentially be used by an operator for discriminatory or anti-competitive purposes.
It said adherence to strict net neutrality rules could make it difficult for telecom service provider to deal with congestion and deliver the desired quality of service (QoS) to their users.
It has invited comments as to what are the reasonable traffic management practices that may need to be followed by telecom service providers while providing internet access services and in what manner could these be misused?
It further asked what precautions must be taken with respect to the activities of telecom service providers and content providers to ensure that national security interests are preserved?