Content providers and telcos back net neutrality, support unbiased web access


Digital content providers, like Netflix, and mobile phone operators of the country have showed their support for net neutrality, the concept ensuring equal and unbiased web access for all. They have also backed allowing reasonable traffic management practices in exceptional cases, as per government directions.

These companies, along with groups like the Internet Freedom Foundation, Internet & Mobile Association of India and Nasscom, have demanded a regulatory framework which would primarily stop and penalise those who undertake traffic management practices (TMPs) like blocking, throttling, prioritisation of traffic or altering of specific content etc.

These companies and groups were responding to a consultation paper on net neutrality which was floated by TRAI, counter arguments for which would need to be submitted by April 24.

Also read: Net Neutrality:Telecom cos now want Govt to strengthen regulations for Whatsapp, Skype

"We believe it is crucial for TRAI to put in place a bright-line regulation that explicitly prohibits TSPs (telecom service providers) from restricting access to content available on the internet to their subscribers and other forms of discrimination, with legitimate traffic management practices constituted limited exceptions to this," said a statement from the Internet Freedom Foundation.

It added that only TMPs that are application-agnostic may be allowed, adding that a multi-stakeholder body need to be put in place so that it can advise the regulator.

After counter arguments are submitted, TRAI would hold an open-house discussion on the topic and then give its recommendations accordingly.

In its statement, Nasscom said that network traffic management should not involve monitoring of activities undertaken by users.

(Image source Freedom Works)