Net Neutrality is a long debated issue that once created a big storm in the telecom industry and among Internet-based companies. And that issue is still not ended rather TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) is struggling for that. This net neutrality is mainly related to offering preferential access to some selected customers. And this issue has made the life of telecom companies along with some internet based companies hard definitely. So, TRAI has undertaken the responsibility to conduct some consultation process regarding this. It has made them invite comments from various stakeholders.
TRAI previously announced February 15 as the last date for comments while it was 28th February for the counter comments. But, now the date is extended by one month for the good of all. So, the new deadline for comments on the net neutrality issue is March 15th while it is 22nd of the same month for counter comments. TRAI itself makes the statements. They have also stated that this extension is done on request of some stakeholders. So, the stakeholders now can go for submitting written comments till 15th March 2017.
TRAI has already conducted the first round of consultation process on the net neutrality issue. The main aim of which is to frame a firm rule for this net neutrality. The consultation process highlighted several issues on that. A pre-consultation process was also conducted by the last year on the same issue. That pre-consultation process focused on various stuff such as what is this net neutrality actually, the importance of unrestricted access along with transparency, the scope of the traffic management practices, the need for preserving national security along with customer privacy, etc.
What is this net neutrality?
Even though the subject Net neutrality became very popular better said as controversial, but the actual definition of it is still unknown. However, this is an issue which mainly aims to offer equal treatment towards all internet traffic. And no priority is being tolerated, be it for any company based on the payment system or else any service providers. The service providers can be anything such as telecom industries or internet based companies. And any bias intention will be demonstrated as discriminatory.
This net neutrality has called for various actions while a panel is already set up under DoT for the same issue. This panel has proposed some rules for domestic calls on the internet based application such as Skype, Viber, Whatsapp and more by keeping them at par with services proposed by the telecom operators. But the moderate approach to those app based international calls is recommended by the same committee. This DoT committee also opposes the Facebook’s Internet.org. Facebook’s Internet.org actually aimed to let users have access to some of the website without the need of any mobile data. However, the similar kind of plan by telecom operator Bharti Airtel can be allowed if TRAI arranges prior permission.
The discriminatory tariff was another controversial issue that raised storm among the public. But thankfully, this is settled by early of 2016 which involved comments from around 24 lakh people.