Indian Express News Feed

As the TRAI moves to selectively prohibit OTTs, the MoS IT advocates for net neutrality

<p>Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for electronics and information technology, said on Friday that India was one of the first nations to guarantee net neutrality and that it had “pushed back against Telcos wanting to be gatekeepers of the Internet.”<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-213072″ src=”×450.jpg” alt=” as the trai moves to selectively prohibit otts the mos it advocates for net neutra” width=”1393″ height=”836″ srcset=”×450.jpg 750w,×614.jpg 1024w,×461.jpg 768w,×90.jpg 150w, 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 1393px) 100vw, 1393px” title=”As the TRAI moves to selectively prohibit OTTs, the MoS IT advocates for net neutrality 3″></p>
<p>The minister made his remarks as a heated discussion between industry groups, internet businesses, and startup founders raged over the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) plan to selectively restrict OTT or Internet services.</p>
<p>For those who remember, the fight for net neutrality in India was a protracted one that began during the UPA administration and peaked in 2015–2016. Chandrasekhar said on X, “I organized a movement where more than 5 lakh Indians wrote to TRAI protesting attempts of certain Telcos to cabelize the Internet and double dip/charge.</p>
<p>He said that India became one of the first nations in the world to guarantee Net Neutrality and “push back against Telcos wanting to be gatekeepers of the Internet” because to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision.</p>
<p>“That decision of PM Modi was an important factor in India becoming a world-leading innovation economy with this vibrant global standard startup ecosystem that we see today,” the minister said.</p>
<p>On Thursday, the IAMAI responded once again to the TRAI’s plan to selectively restrict OTT/Internet services, claiming that such requests for imposing revenue-sharing arrangements between Internet corporations and telecom services providers (TSPs) “smack of rent-seeking.”</p>
<p>IAMAI members contend that by making the “largest” OTT service providers pay TSPs for the data that consumers use, TSPs would essentially be charging twice for the same service as they already charge customers for data.</p>
<p>In any event, “surging data traffic” is just data that customers have previously bought from telecommunications providers and are now using.</p>
<p>The IAMAI contended that this has been conveniently ignored: TSPs’ infrastructure is put under “strain” when they sell data to customers beyond what their infrastructure can handle.</p>
<p>The IAMAI also called attention to requests made in support of telecom service providers by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).</p>
<p>The IAMAI emphasized that such requests do not take into account the fact that telecom service providers are subject to a unique regulatory and licensing system because of the influence they have over priceless national resources like spectrum.</p>
<p>At least 128 company owners asked the TRAI to reconsider any step toward over-regulating internet services known as OTT services, since it might have discriminatory effects, earlier this week. The TRAI began its investigation into the topic of regulating OTT communication applications in July.<br />
11 consumer organizations said earlier this month that the measure would result in excessive regulation and bring about regulatory uncertainty on the home market.</p>
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