Indian Government plans to have a robust policy on Net Neutrality - Alternative Media Forum


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Friday, 17 April 2015

Indian Government plans to have a robust policy on Net Neutrality

New Delhi(web team): With Net Neutrality becoming the new hotly debated buzzword and even US President Barack Obama throwing his weight behind it, India is finally thinking of putting in place a well-framed policy on Net neutrality before it gets too late to contain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecom operators who want to bend the rules to their advantage.

A glimpse of what could be the fallout of having no policy on Net Neutrality was there to see in recent Airtel Zero - Flipkart episode that set the social media ablaze with angry netizens response.

"It has rather pushed the government to have a policy in place sooner than later. The department of telecom has been asked to come out with a policy on the Net Neutrality by May," said an official who has been part of meetings on Net Neutrality.

In the few meetings that have taken place till now, the government looks keen to take a position in favour of Net Neutrality which in simple terms means non-discrimination of content irrespective of its type, origin and destination etc.

It would mean that the ISPs and telecom operators will not have the power to block consumer requests access to a website or a service; they won't be able to throttle Internet by intentionally slowing down some content or speed up others based on the type of service or preferences; allow increased transparency and will not allow paid prioritisation to let ISPs put a service in slow lane because it does not pay a fee.

Though India has the lowest Internet penetration and is also among world's 42 least connected countries (LCCs), it has third highest numbers of Net users in the world that has made the government to look at Net Neutrality.

"India is poised to achieve 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and making available higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps on demand.

This means that India will have the highest Net users and perhaps also the most powerful body of netizens that certainly would require a robust policy on Net Neutrality," said sources.

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