While web users in the States are still battling for open and fair Internet services, India has approved on what could be the world most progressive policy – free internet for all.
In a major triumph for netizens across India, the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has agreed to follow Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommendations regarding net neutrality rules.
From now on, Internet Service Providers (ISP) are not allowed to throttle internet speeds or grant favorable speeds to content providers. The authorities suggest there should be no kind of discrimination or any type of interference in the treatment of online content. Providers are also prohibited from zero content rating.
However, there are few internet services exempted from the laid down rules, termed “critical IOT services” and “specialized services” by TRAI chairman R S Sharma. This would include remote surgery, autonomous vehicles and enterprise-wired networks created through leased lines, according to The Wire.
The framework of Net Neutrality was first laid by TRAI last year in response to the public comment on the principles of Net Neutrality. The government organization received 1 million responses to the questionnaire in 2015.
Indians have been long arguing for fair services of the Internet. In 2015, Airtel introduced a Zero Rating which received criticism on net neutrality grouds and was called off the next day.
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Even Facebook’s Internet.org plan of providing free services was banned in 2016 since it was indirectly promoting zero rating which could have acted as an advantage over local companies.
Look at our Net Neutrality guide to know what it means and why should you care.