TRAI’s Paper on Net Neutrality has a strong bias towards telecom operators: Rajeev Chandrashekhar

The debate on Net Neutrality is picking up heat. While Net Neutrality supporters have already declared a war against TRAI and telecom operators, we haven’t yet heard much from the Indian government on the issue—except for the fact that they (Indian government and TRAI) are planning to come up with a law on Net Neutrality, which would define the do’s and don’ts.

Though we really can’t say what those do’s and don’ts would be and to what extent they would restrict our freedom on the Web, but it is heartening to know that there are people like Rajeev Chandrashekhar who are raising their voice in the Parliament and are asking for some bold steps in favour of Net Neutrality.

Rajeev Chandrashekhar, who is currently serving his second term as an independent member of the Rajya Sabha, has particularly been reiterating that TRAI must come clean about corporate rivalry they mentioned in their recent 118 page consultation document. And he has sent across the same message in his recent letter to Rahul Khullar, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. In this letter dated 23 rd April 2015, he has challenged the 118 page consultation document submitted by TRAI and called it disappointing. He cites, “I have gone through your 118 page consultation document and regrettably have noted, that this consultation paper lacks the promised balance and is therefore deeply disappointing. Arguably instead, the paper betrays a strong bias towards telecom operators from telecom operators from the questions framed for the consultation.”

In his letter, he also strongly objected TRAI’s attempt to seek regulatory or public policy protection to perpetuate a legacy business model of telcos. He said, “I appreciate that investments and investor sentiment are critical to developing both national infrastructure on which the current and future Internet and Internet accsees network can operate. But, I firmly reject the notion that consumer interests and core character of an open and free Internet have to be sacrificed to maximize the business interests of Telcos and Internet Access Providers, which seems to be the premise of the TRAI consultation paper.”

You can read the complete letter here.
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