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Current Affairs

TRAI issues consultation papers on net neutrality

Date: 04 January 2020 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on issues related to traffic management practices and the multi-stakeholder body for ‘net neutrality’.

 

Background

The paper discusses the various challenges in measurement of internet traffic and compilation of reasonable traffic management practices (TMP).

 

Details

  • The consultation paper said that currently there might be a number of TMPs, which are developed and deployed in the networks for different requirements.

  • Some of these may be of a concern from the net neutrality perspective and required not to be applied in general, while some of the other TMPs might be necessary in specific situations.

  • To monitor and enforce net neutrality in an objective and transparent manner, it might be required to list out the reasonable TMPs and conditions when these may be applied.

  • Keeping in view the challenges of monitoring and enforcing net neutrality principles, TRAI recommended that DoT may establish a multi-stakeholder body (MSB) with a framework for collaborative mechanism among the stakeholders.

  • The MSB would not be for profit and would be led by the industry, and may comprise members representing different categories of TSPs and ISPs, large and small content providers, representatives from research and academia, civil society organisations and consumer representatives.

Net Neutrality

  • Network neutrality, or simply net neutrality, is the principle that Internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all Internet communications equally, and not discriminate or charge differently on user,  content, website, platform, application, type of equipment, source address, destination address, or method of communication.

  • With net neutrality, ISPs may not intentionally block, slow down, or charge money for specific online content. Without net neutrality, ISPs may prioritize certain types of traffic, meter others, or potentially block traffic from specific services, while charging consumers for various tiers of service.

Need for net neutrality

  • Freedom of expression

As long as it's legal, any blog or website or news service is available online under the concept of net neutrality. Otherwise, internet service providers could in theory block access to content they don't want you to see.

  • Promotes innovation and competition

An open internet ensures that larger companies don't have yet another advantage over a tiny startup. It's a level playing field on the internet, where everything is delivered as fast as possible to the end user.

  • Uninterrupted access

Net neutrality squashes the potential for internet fast lanes, where internet service providers can charge content creators for enough bandwidth to deliver their service properly.