Big Victory for Internet Users in India : TRAI backs Net Neutrality

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations regarding Net Neutrality. In its recommendations, the regulator has restricted service providers from entering into any arrangement, agreement or contract that can lead to discriminatory based on content available on the Internet. Content includes all content, application, services or any other other data, including its end-point information, that can be transmitted over the Internet.


Now, what is Net Neutrality? As per Wikipedia, “Network neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally”. In simple terms, it means like Internet Service providers cannot provide preferential treatment to any website, online services or app. All sites to be equally accessible with equal browsing speeds and equal data rates.


“The “discriminatory tariff” 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”, TRAI said in a statement.


These recommendations come at a time when the US Telecom regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to withdraw Net Neutrality rules that were implemented in 2015. In February 2016, TRAI had banned Facebook’s Internet.Org and Airtel Zero by barring discriminatory tariffs.

Content Delivery Network (CDNs) is exempted from the scope of non-discriminatory treatment. CDNs allow Telecom Service Providers to deliver content within its network without going through the public Internet.

Even, Internet of Things (IoT) are kept under the scope of non-discriminatory services. “However, critical IoT services, which may be identified by DoT, and which specify the definition of specialised services, would be automatically excluded.”, the statement added.



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