Telecom Internet speeds above board: NCC

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Net Neutrality Approved by Government, Internet to Remain Fair For All.

From today onward, ISPs can not perform actions involving "blocking, degrading, slowing down or granting preferential speeds or treatment to any content", per The Wire's report.

"The Telecom Commission (TC) today approved net neutrality as recommended by Trai expect some critical services will be kept out of its purview", Telecom Commission Chairman Aruna Sundararajan told reporters here. A separate committee under the DoT will be set up to earmark such critical services/areas and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will also be consulted on this matter.

The debate over Net Neutrality in India started when Trai came out with a consultation paper on the regulation of over the top players such as Skype and WhatsApp.

"Any deviations and violations of the rules of net neutrality-which will come into effect nearly immediately-will be met with stiff penalties, including possible cancellation of licence", she added.

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To ensure that consumers have access to quality Internet services and that telecoms fully disclose their user agreement information, the commission has entrusted the Telecom Technology Center with the task of measuring the mobile Internet services offered by telecoms, in both fixed locations and on transportation, it said, adding that the findings would be made public. Internet service providers (ISP) often tend to discriminate against websites that do not invest much in them or give them good traffic. So from now, rules of net neutrality will govern India's Internet. Trai had also exempted specialised services such as autonomous cars, remote surgery, that are mission critical applications to be excluded from the purview of the framework, along with content delivery networks. With India taking up the cause seriously, it looks like free and open Internet is here to stay.

The Department of Telecommunications didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Providers are also prohibited from providing zero-rated content.

The country banned Internet.org, then called Free Basics in 2016. "Therefore, India must have ease of doing business and enabling policy environment", Sundararajan said.

Moreover, Singh said the "horizontal separation of wholesale and retail" is a must if we are to aim for real net neutrality, as it would not allow integration of services with carriage, and actually create a level-playing field.

As per the recent conversation, under net neutrality, online access is unrestricted and non-discriminatory. The DoT will also be framing a policy on net neutrality traffic management. This "multi-provider, inter-operable, collaborative model increases the overall innovation in the system, dismantles monopolies and encourages passing of benefits to end user", the telecom regulator has said.

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