Net Neutrality: Airtel seeks Trai nod before entering into video content deal with a global firm

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.”

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14 Comments on "Net Neutrality: Airtel seeks Trai nod before entering into video content deal with a global firm"


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April 27, 2016 7:59 pm 7:59 PM

Airtel is the first company that breaks TRAI rules and to implement new rules in telecom for airtel greed.

April 27, 2016 5:40 pm 5:40 PM

That’s ok. If something is not on internet, it doesn’t come under net neutrality technically.

April 27, 2016 4:21 pm 4:21 PM

They are trying to offer exclusive content because of the Jio fear. As on the time of commercial launch Jio would offer some exclusive content on the Intranet, they are imitating them and airtel also will offer their exclusive content on Intranet, such an unethical company.

April 27, 2016 9:15 pm 9:15 PM

You seem to know a lot, care to share the source of your so-called theories?

April 28, 2016 12:28 pm 12:28 PM

Hahaha! U r nailed.

April 27, 2016 6:07 pm 6:07 PM

More than any concern for their non existent exclusive content delivery platform, Airtel is more interested in getting JIO’s intranet based content platform blocked by TRAI. Knowing what kind of geniuses run TRAI, Airtel might even succeed in ruining the party for everyone.

April 27, 2016 9:16 pm 9:16 PM

How do you know Airtel marketing strategies my friend?

April 28, 2016 12:50 am 12:50 AM
Just use your brain, do telcos even need complex strategies? Their strategists are also humans, not extraterrestrials from outer space. If you have a solid network and good customer care, you don’t really need any strategy except expanding your business. Have these companies ever come out with anything over the years which you thought was out of the world? I can’t recollect anything. All they do is bombard people with advertising 24×7, nothing else. Ad agencies have the real job. But yeah when telcos have to do something mischievous then their strategists get real active but not when something good… Read more »
Dr Lambinagh
April 27, 2016 7:59 pm 7:59 PM

Well I disagree. If jio can offer exclusive content to its subscribers as per the TRAIs intranet rule then why can’t airtel offer exclusive content to its subscribers. If jio offers it so can airtel and if that’s allowed great and if nots allowed then it should not be allowed for anyone. How is asking a query spoiling the party, of its allowed great if not then it’s a no for all from the beginning. It’s called a level playing field.

April 27, 2016 9:41 pm 9:41 PM

What was stopping Airtel from providing exclusive content services till now? They are just being JIO copycats now. JIO still will have the upper hand because Reliance already owns so much content. That’s why Airtel is nervous and running to TRAI.