Telecom Commission, the apex body for decision making in the telecom sector, has given clearance for the new telecom policy and net neutrality recommendations on Wednesday. Now the decision will be passed on to the Cabinet for further approval. The department had invited recommendations from more than 1000 stakeholders for the National Digital Communications Policy. This new policy would create new jobs in the industry and would also drag $100 billion worth of investment into India by 2022 after its implementation. The issue was open till May end for recommendations, and it has successfully garnered over 1000 comments which are being studied by the department as of now.
However, the new policy comes right after the industry has been surrounded by massive financial troubles involving that of debt, falling revenues and even losses. Reliance Jio triggered this situation when it introduced its products at a very competitive price thus leading to a war among the telcos. After seeing tough times, some companies have found themselves in situations involving insolvency, mergers and acquisitions reports ETTelecom.
Telecom Commission, headed by Aruna Sundarajan had signed off on all the recommendations made by the telecom regulator Trai as they were, especially regarding the issue of Net neutrality. The watchdog has always supported the stance of a free and fair network, and it has always been against the point of telecom operators blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to specific content channels or services. However, under this new policy, Trai had also suggested specialised services defined by the DoT which will be granted fast lanes. For these services, the telcos will be allowed to use traffic management practices to maintain the quality of service. ‘Content delivery networks’ have also been kept out of the scope of net neutrality in its discussions by the regulator.
Trai’s stance on net neutrality has been a contrasting one to that of US, where the government had allowed the operators for preferential treatment to specific content channels or websites.