Trai Chairman R S Sharma on net neutrality: Don't cannibalise Internet
Issuing the much-awaited recommendations on Internet neutrality in the country, Trai Chairman R S Sharma on Tuesday said that it should be open and accessible to everyone
Trai Chairman R S Sharma on Tuesday called for Internet, an important platform for India, being kept open and free, and not cannibalised. "No one owns Internet... so, it should be open and accessible to everyone," Sharma said, suggesting that service providers should not indulge in gate-keeping of this important platform. Trai issued the much-awaited recommendations on net neutrality and has sought to bar telecom service providers from any discriminatory practice on Internet access. Sharma said Internet is an important platform for the country, especially in the context of innovation, startups, online transactions, various government applications, and the Digital India programme.
"So, it is important that the platform is kept open and free and not cannibalised," Sharma told reporters. Asked about the Indian regulator upholding principles of net neutrality when, in fact, US Federal Communications Commission has proposed to roll back net neutrality rules of 2015, Sharma said Trai has kept the Indian context in mind while framing its recommendations. "We have 500 million net subscribers and 1.3 billion population... big things will happen on Internet and it is important to keep it open," Sharma stressed. "Networks should not prefer one content over other... should not block or offer fast lane (to certain content)," he pointed out. Trai, in its recommendations on Tuesday, has however allowed certain exemptions and exclusions, including specialised services and time-critical Internet of Things services (like autonomous cars).
500mn Total number of Internet users in India