The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ended all rumours of its stance on net neutrality by coming in full support of it. The authority has declared that the internet service providers should not be discriminating when providing internet access. It even came out with a list of recommendations which will come into play when the Department of Telecom sets about formulating new rules relating to internet access and OTT (over the top) services.
As per the new recommendations that operator license be amplified to specify “explicit restrictions” on discrimination in internet access based on content, protocols or user equipment. TRAI recommends that practices like degrading the quality of content, blocking access or interfering with it any content in a discriminatory fashion be prohibited. Service providers must be barred from entering into any sort of agreement with anyone that encourages discriminatory treatment of content or internet services. These are applicable to Internet Access Services.
The new regulations however, specify against content providers like Jio TV, Airtel Wynk, Netflix and YouTube. JioTV or Airtel Wynk is delivered only on a Jio or an Airtel network, i.e., the content is inaccessible over the internet, it will be exempt from the restrictions set forth by these principles. YouTube and Netflix, both of which are content services delivered over the internet, fall under the definition of IAS and are thus, protected by net neutrality rules.Facebook’s attempt to provide special services over the internet had rocketed the Net Neutrality debate into national importance as people became aware of the harms of discriminatory internet service.