Recommendations of DoT panel on net neutrality are anti-consumer: Nasscom

Telecom panel’s suggestions on net neutrality has created mixed reactions from the industry, with many like Nasscom go totally against it. According to Nasscom, the organization that sets tone of public policies for the India software industry, the policies suggested by DoT panel can lead to breach of privacy and hence, is stated as ‘anti-consumer’.


DoT panel has proposed regulations on domestic calls made through Internet-based apps Skype, Whatsapp and Viber. DoT panel wanted to bring the domestic calls on Internet-based apps on par with the services offered by telecom operators. However, for VoIP international calling services, panel suggested a liberal approach.

“It (recommendation) will certainly amount to breach of privacy because without doing deep packet inspection, you will not be able to distinguish the content and you will not be able to find if it is voice or non-voice,” Nasscom President R. Chandrashekhar, who is also a former telecom secretary, told PTI.

According to Chandrashekhar, the recommendations may look like they support net neutrality, but on a deeper analysis, they are anti-consumer and prove harmful for digital India.

“No curbs on app developers, messaging or instant messaging platforms that integrate these kind of services. These are steps in right direction. The committee has said we should not regulate them and encourage them,” he said.

“The recommendations, if implemented, would impact crores of subscribers,” he added.

DoT panel took a stand against Facebook’s, but supported Airtel Zero.

According to the panel, Facebook’s allowed free access to only few websites, which means Facebook decides which website to reach customers. It act as a gatekeeper, said DoT panel. Facebook defended saying, it is not a gatekeeper, rather a gateway to internet that takes internet to people who cannot afford it.

For Airtel Zero, the panel suggested that the operator can go ahead of the plan once the TRAI approves it. It compared the plan to toll-free number and proposed “ex-ante determination” and “ex-post regulation” model for dealing with tariff plan of Airtel Zero.

Under ‘ex-ante determination, Airtel can file the tariff plans before Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and TRAI checks if the plans go against net neutrality, before approving them. For OTT, panel cited national security reasons, saying that they should comply with it like the telecom operators.

Net neutrality became a heated topic of discussion when Airtel launched Airtel Zero, a plan that would allow free access to few websites on its network. However, the companies would pay for joining the platform.

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7 Comments on "Recommendations of DoT panel on net neutrality are anti-consumer: Nasscom"


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Madhan Kumar
July 18, 2015 11:27 pm 11:27 PM

After Telecom Minister finalises that OTT services can be regulated and FraudTel/Avoid grp launches such Voip seperate Packs,then also these stupid Fan boys would still support them.Incredible India!

July 18, 2015 6:07 pm 6:07 PM

Neutrality Is Killing Startup Culture . It will Affect Digital India campaign as well!!

July 18, 2015 5:59 pm 5:59 PM

everyone knows its a bad judgement airtle sure has deep pocket and influence i dont think fb will let it go easily and we should not encourage airtle zero either its very bad for the future of india if we the biggest democratic country let something like this pass by than what will the world think of us

July 18, 2015 7:16 pm 7:16 PM

In Short we should be opposing FB & AirTel or any other company who wants to be a gate-keeper of the free way.