The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) floats many consultation papers in a year, and it manages to solidify rules and regulations based on the inputs on these consultation papers. The inputs come from stakeholders in the industry. One such important consultation paper in the telecom industry is the paper on the formation of a multi-stakeholder governance body that will advise the government on monitoring and applying net neutrality rules. This body would also look into reasonable internet management practices. However, as per a new ET Telecom report on the matter, Trai has now extended the deadline for obtaining comments on this paper. While the previous deadline for submitting comments was January 30, now it is February 13. For the counter comments, the stakeholders can submit them before February 27 instead of February 13.
Trai Looking to Setup Body for Net Neutrality Advisory
Trai has been discussing how it can properly set up a multi-stakeholder governance body that will be able to advise the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on the net neutrality rules. Also, the regulator has been asking for inputs to come up with proper practices that don’t infringe the rules on the free web and don’t hurt the consumers as well.
To recall, it was two years back that Trai has first talked about net neutrality with an open internet. That time, Trai had suggested a set of measures for proper internet traffic management which ensures Quality of Service (QoS) while ensuring security and keeping in mind emergencies. Now Trai is attempting to define a framework for traffic management.
Trai’s Current Rules on Net Neutrality
In its latest consultation paper, Trai has invited comments on various topics, for example, the current traffic management practices of the telecom companies. Trai has also posed questions about how it can detect net neutrality violations as well. It has asked whether methods like sample field measurement or crowdsourcing would be effective in this regard. Back in 2017, Trai had also rolled out rules for a penalty on net neutrality violations. On each violation, the minimum penalty was Rs 50,000, but the overall cap on the penalty was Rs 50 lakh. The multi-stakeholder body that Trai is talking about would include telecom companies, internet service providers, and consumer representatives and the body would serve an advisory role.