Regulators

Trai to make recommendations on net neutrality today

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New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will issue its much-awaited recommendations on net neutrality today.

“We will issue the recommendations on net neutrality tomorrow,” Trai chairman RS Sharma told reporters on Monday.

Trai, which has so far adopted a pro-net neutrality stand, is expected to stick to its stand of ensuring a free and open internet for all.

Net neutrality requires telecom service providers to treat all internet traffic equally, without regard for the type, origin, or destination of the content or the means of its transmission.

The recommendations are expected to include the definition of what constitutes reasonable traffic management practices by ISPs. A likely negative list of non-reasonable traffic management practices could also emerge.

The issue has been debated upon globally as well as in India, with activists arguing the case for an open internet without any restrictions on speed.

The recommendations that the regulator releases on Tuesday will assume significance, especially at a time when the US plans to repeal its existing rules on net neutrality, which will essentially allow telecom companies in the US to restrict broadband speeds and favour their own services if they want.

Trai had in January floated a consultation paper on the topic, seeking views on issues such as how to ensure non-discriminatory access to content on internet, among others.

This was followed up by an open house discussion in August which saw participation by representatives from telecom and ISPs, consulting firms, activists, and policy experts.

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