Net neutrality: 5 major takeaways from TRAI ruling

Net neutrality: 5 major takeaways from TRAI ruling

Net neutrality: 5 major takeaways from TRAI ruling

In a long-awaited report on net neutrality released on Tuesday, the telecom regulator said it was not in favour of any "discriminatory treatment" with data, including blocking, slowing or offering preferential speeds or treatment to any content.

With this, TRAI has effectively drawn a red line and shunned calls from telecom operators for creating fast and slow lanes on the internet depending on the data and service you wish to use.

Trai has kept content delivery networks (CDN) out of the Net Neutrality regulation.

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These recommendations make Net Neutrality - the principle that says that all bits on the internet should be treated equally - rules in India far more ironclad than in the U.S., where the FCC moved last week to repeal rules that prohibit internet service providers from blocking or slowing websites, or charging a premium for "fast lanes" for things like high-quality streaming. "No one owns Internet, so, it should be open and accessible to everyone", Sharma said. The paper sought views on ways to ensure non-discriminatory access to content on the internet and was followed up by an open house discussion in August involving activists and policy experts.

If the government accepts the proposal, ISPs will not be able to block or throttle any web traffic or offer fast lanes for content providers who pay for the facility. However, it allowed certain exemptions for specialised services which are optimised for specific content and are not internet services.

After over one year of consultations and heated debate, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will issue its much-awaited recommendations on net neutrality.

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The regulator will come out with a consultation paper on over-the-top (OTT) players soon. With TRAI playing its part, it's up to the ministry of communications and information technology to now incorporate the recommendations in legislation.

India's Net Neutrality advocates have lauded the regulators' recommendations.

While these recommendations (in particular the license amendments) will only come into force if the Department of Telecommunications decides to implement them, TRAI quietly notes that pending consideration, it may regulate the "manner in which the current licensing requirement of unrestricted access to all content on the Internet is implemented and enforced".

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