Government-appointed committee proposes a stringent law to safeguard net neutrality

Finally the matter of net neutrality has begun to near its finishing point, with the Government-appointed committee calling for a law to prohibit mobile operators from offering differential treatment and tariffs for internet-based voice calls and data surfs, as well as sponsored data like Airtel Zero and internet.org. Such differential offerings go against net neutrality, terms the committee.

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Government-committee’s view is sure to disappoint the telecom players. The proposed law will suggest the occasions when an operator can block websites, such as if they spot illegal content, spam, viruses etc.

The committee is yet to submit its proposed law to Department of Telecommunications, but had completed several meetings with DoT to frame the law. The report was expected to be on the tables of DoT by the second week of May, but it may take another two weeks, say sources. Even after the submission of the report, the Government will take time to finalize things, as it will wait for TRAI’s recommendations on net neutrality.

TRAI’s process will take some time since its Chairman Rahul Khullar ended his three year term. It is more likely that the regulator will wait for the next Chairman to take charge before finalizing the recommendations on net neutrality.

The committee further said that the technological evolution cannot be stopped, and it is the duty of telecom companies to adopt their business models according to it.

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