Iron-clad net neutrality reportedly comes to India
Iron-clad net neutrality reportedly comes to India
Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan
13 July, 2018, 00:36
It also kept "content delivery networks" out of the ambit of net neutrality.
"Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality - which come into effect nearly immediately - will be met with stiff penalties", telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan told Indian reporters.
"This is a very strong deterrent that has been created for net neutrality violations", said Nikhil Pahwa, co-founder of India'sSave the Internet campaign.
In November a year ago, the telecom and media sector watchdog had proposed restrictions on service providers from entering into pacts which lead to discriminatory treatment of content, while also suggesting a multi-stakeholder body comprising telecom and internet service providers, content providers, civil society organisation and consumer representatives for monitoring violations. The laws prohibit blocking, degrading, slowing down or giving preferential treatment to users, The Times of India reported.
In order to ensure that they do, proponents say, the government needs to regulate the internet.
Sundararajan also told the publication that internet traffic management by mobile companies will be monitored under the new regime.
The policy was open till May-end for views of stakeholders and the public, and officials said, more than 1000 comments had come in, which were being reviewed by the department.
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However, there are few internet services exempted from the laid down rules, termed "critical IOT services" and "specialized services" by TRAI chairman R S Sharma.
India is expected to have 500 million internet users by June.
After widespread complaints, the DoT wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 2016 to seek its suggestions.
Service providers violating regulations will be penalised, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. "Unlike the United States, where the FCC has gone back and is essentially opposing net neutrality, India has now the strongest net neutrality regulations in the world", he added.
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