Telecom Comm approves net neutrality, new telecom policy

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"Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality - which come into effect nearly immediately - will be met with stiff penalties", Department of Telecommunications secretary Aruna Sundararajan is quoted as telling the Times.

In simple terms, the internet service providers won't be able to block or throttle any web traffic, be it on computers, laptops or mobile phones, and offer fast lanes for content providers who pay for the privilege.

Reduced tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of public emergency has been permitted. The decision also carries with it the heft of TRAI's authority. The fine can also go up to Rs. 50 lakhs. These high costs would not allow them to scale down and sell internet cheaply to sections of people from whom profit can not be made easily or cheaply.

"We had issued a consultation paper just about 60 days ago on differential pricing". Quite simply, "the USA has done it, so why not us?" Anything on the Internet can not be differently priced.

"This is a very strong deterrent that has been created for net neutrality violations", said Nikhil Pahwa, co-founder of India's Save the Internet campaign.

The government says a committee will look into the possible exceptions for "critical services" that will keep the basic guidelines of net neutrality in view. Other than that, the DoT secretary said, in the age of autonomous vehicles and digitised healthcare, certain types of traffic needs to be prioritised.

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"This (Net Neutrality) is an evolving area and we can't be rigid while prescribing norms", the DoT official said.

ISP's without net neutrality, blocked websites, slow internet speeds, extra service charge?

"The telecom department will decide on traffic management rules, and will seek recommendations from sector regulator TRAI [Telecom Regulatory Authority of India] on the same", she reportedly added. Airtel too came up with Airtel Zero which would have segregated the internet.

Some questioned if subscribers of the low-priced plan were given slower Internet connection speeds than those who pay more, the commission said. "Unlike the US, where the FCC has gone back and is essentially opposing net neutrality, India has now the strongest net neutrality regulations in the world", he added. This is about the same time our own debates on net neutrality were heating up. At least 29 states introduced more than 65 bills aimed at protecting net neutrality and seven states enacted executive orders that made it illegal for state agencies to enter contracts with ISPs that don't uphold net neutrality.

Thank you dear members for spreading awareness about #IndiaWantsNetNeutrality and making it to top trends.Slowly Bollywood is also extending their support for the cause.

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