Tremendous growth in reach of Internet in the past has been made possible through ubiquitous telecom access made available in every nook and corner of the country on the one hand and a vibrant content and application ecosystem on the other. Impact of emerging new business models through Internet and desire to preserve and protect the open nature of the public Internet has given rise to issues concerning Net Neutrality. NT Cell deals with policy matters relating to Net Neutrality.
DoT constituted a six member committee on Net Neutrality in Jan, 2015 to recommend overall policy, regulatory and technical responses. Adopting assimilative, analytical and participative approach to address related issues, the recommendations of the Committee were placed in public domain for inputs of stakeholders. The committee report has contributed qualitatively to the different narratives on the subject.
Issues related to Net Neutrality and regulation of OTTs are covered under TRAI Consultation Paper titled"Regulatory Framework for Over the Top (OTT) Service" issued on 27.03.2015.
TRAI has floated another consultation paper titled "Differential Pricing of Data Services" on 09.12 2015 and has subsequently released its regulation "Prohibition of discriminatory tariffs for data services, Regulations, 2016" on 8th Feb, 2016 which, inter alia, prohibits any service provider from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
Subsequently, TRAI has floated the consultation papaer on net-neutrality on 04.01.2017. The consultation Paper is available on the website of TRAI (www.trai.gov.in). The recommendations of TRAI are awaited.