These recommendations have been arrived at based on the pre-consultation paper issued in May 2016 to identify key issues and a detailed consultation paper in January 2017 which focussed on requirements, design, scope and implementation of net neutrality framework in India. "No one owns Internet, so, it should be open and accessible to everyone", Sharma said. TRAI previously prevented Facebook from pushing Free Basics, a zero-rated service that granted access to select sites and services on its platform for free, while operating as a gatekeeper that could decide which sites would be allowed in.
India's Net Neutrality advocates have lauded the regulators' recommendations. First, "such services are not usable or offered as a replacement for Internet access services"; and second, "the provision of such services should not be detrimental to the availability and overall quality of Internet access services". "It would also not restrict adoption of reasonable traffic management practices by the service provider", Trai added. CDNs enable telecom deliver content within their network without going through the public internet in order to create a content ecosystem to drive user traction. "This may give such an integrated operator advantage versus a pure play connectivity provider", Edelweiss Research said in a note.
The recommendations that the regulator releases on Tuesday will assume significance, especially at a time when the USA plans to repeal its existing rules on net neutrality, which will essentially allow telecom companies in the United States to restrict broadband speeds and favour their own services if they want.
Further, Trai wants telecom operators to declare their traffic management practices as and when deployed and the impact it may have had on the users.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's headquarters in New Delhi.
If adopted by the Modi government, Internet service providers would not be able to engage in practices such as "blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content".
"The DoT is already well positioned to investigate any violation of licence conditions and it already has all the necessary enforcement mechanisms in place".