There has been a huge response on Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services issued by TRAI which in itself testifies the importance how closely the issue is being followed up by the user community who is impacted the most by net neutrality. Some of the comments which are not supported are :
- There is a pressing need to provide broadband to a billion Indians. This need can be appropriately addressed if services are affordable enough for large scale adoption. Hence, pricing innovations such as zero rating, which will act as a catalyst in widespread adoption of broadband services
- The immediate priority in India, where 80% of the population has no data connectivity, is for rolling out broadband networks, rather than continue to debate on the concepts and issues of Net Neutrality.
- As traffic explodes with the proliferation of these services, it is unreasonable to expect ISPs to provide limitless bandwidth on a non-discriminatory (pricing) basis.
Some of the comments which are supported are :
- TRAI should not emulate the proposals put forth by ETNO
- Encryption laws of India are required to be revised from the existing restriction
- Principle of Net neutrality does not prevent traffic management practices that are consistent and have an enforceable framework to make sure such practices are reasonable.
Overall, Regulatory imbalance should be studied in detail rather than going with the assumptions and facts presented by telcos and OTTs.
User benefit is paramount and as such if regulations are needed to ensure that TSPs do not resort to market distorting practices which go against the principles of Net Neutrality and creating prohibitive cost structures for low latency access, it should be created and also if there is a need to bring OTT under rules as applicable for ensuring they follow the law of the land, does not cause loss to national exchequer finds a strong support from us.