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Government Implements Principles of Net Neutrality

In its attempt to allow netizens access to free and fair internet, the government has approved the principle of net neutrality. The move will ensure internet service providers and platforms treat all data as equal.

No platform will be allowed to block, decline speed or grant preferential speed to any particular content in the digital universe.

The Telecom Commission approved the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which were tabled eight months ago.

A Times of India report states that even the creation of zero-rated platforms will be barred. These are platforms which offer free, but limited access to the internet through a few websites or services.

This is with reference to an earlier campaign by Facebook called “Free Basics” which sparked the net neutrality debate in India. TRAI ultimately banned the operation of Free Basics in the country.

Companies and stakeholders will have to change licensing norms to adhere to the principles of net neutrality. The government will also form a body comprising of various stakeholders to ensure the changes are implemented.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan made the announcement on July 11 and added that certain items, will be kept out of the purview of the net neutrality principle.

A committee has been formed under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to decide on the matter. Autonomous vehicles, digital healthcare services and disaster management are prospective categories that will exempt from the net neutrality principle. – Money Control

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