Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest telecom operator by subscribers, has reached out the Trai to seek nod for a video content deal with a “big global content provider”, and to avoid any controversy on net neutrality.
The company, in a letter to Trai Secretary Sudhir Gupta, said that it has been approached by one of the big global content providers who wishes to offer their video content on exclusive basis over the closed electronics communications network (CECN) of Airtel reports Economic Times.
“Such exclusive content would be offered in India to Airtel’s customers only. Prior to arriving at any business decision on such an arrangement, we request the honourable authority to kindly advise us if we can go ahead with it,” the letter said.
“We further submit that while such an arrangement with the global content provider over CECN along with its exclusive offerings to our customers would be compliant to the regulations, it may well be viewed by some stakeholders in violation of principles of net neutrality,” the telco further added.
Bharti Airtel had earlier drawn flak from various stakeholders in the industry for its Airtel Zero. Besides, social networking giant Facebook too faced a setback to its Free Basics in the country.
Indian telecom regulator, Trai, already said no to discriminatory pricing of data content. In a February order, the regulator said, “No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content. No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content.”