The telecom regulator Chairman RS Sharma today admitted that the regulator is looking to send its recommendations on net neutrality to the government in a month. The Trai today completed its open house discussions held in three cities including Delhi today, where it received views from multiple stakeholders since the consultation paper was issued.
Even though some carriers and content providers continue to express conflicting views towards the campaign, Trai is looking its recommendations to the government. For the unaware, content providers and operators are opposing the net neutrality program for more than two years.
“All stakeholders are actively participating in this (net neutrality) debate. I think Trai should be able to give an appropriate recommendation to the government which they have asked for,” Trai chairman RS Sharma said after closing the open house discussion. “I think today’s discussion on net neutrality was fruitful. This is the third in the series of discussions that we had on net neutrality,” he added.
When asked about the timeline for sending the recommendations, Sharma responded that “It should not take more than a month.” Moreover, the government said that it will wait for the Trai’s report before forming a final view on the framework of net neutrality.
The scenario is still the same with content providers and telecom operators as they were on the opposite side to Trai in the meeting. “The (permission based) approach that telcos are suggesting is pure and simple extortion,” said Nikhil Pahwa, co-founder, Internet Freedom Foundation.
Indian telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, and Telenor admitted that Trai must consider a principle based approach rather than a narrow approach on net neutrality.
“Economic opportunity should be given to telcos to monetize their investment into networks without violating principles,” Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India stated.
Mathewes also expressed his views on Nikhil Pahwa’s ‘extortionists’ reference to carriers as “We don’t call them leeches or ticket-less travellers (on our networks).”
Back in May 2016, Trai presented a pre-consultation paper on May 2016, in which, the regulator discussed issues of net neutrality.