Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations on Net Neutrality. These recommendations are the result of a long, multistage consultation process. On March 27, 2015, TRAI had issued a consultation paper titled Regulatory Framework for Over-the-Top Service. Apart from issues relating to Over-the-Top (OTT) service, this consultation paper also touched upon issues related to net neutrality.
Some of the salient features of the recommendations include:
- The licensing terms should be amplified to provide explicit restrictions on any sort of discrimination in Internet access based on the content being accessed, the protocols being used, or the user equipment being deployed. Content would include all content, applications, services and any other data, including its end-point information, that can be accessed or transmitted over the Internet
- The discriminatory treatment in the context of treatment of content would include any form of discrimination, restriction or interference in the treatment of content, including practices like blocking, degrading, slowing down, or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content
- The service providers should be restricted from entering into any arrangement, agreement, or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory treatment based on content, sender or receiver, protocols or user equipment
- The scope of the proposed principles on nondiscriminatory treatment applies specifically to Internet Access Services, which are generally available to the public
- TSPs shall be required to declare their Traffic Management Practices (TMP), as and when deployed and the impact it may have had on the users. The disclosure requirements shall also include information about specialized services, direct or indirect arrangements entered into by them