Telecom companies including Idea Cellular and Vodafone have tactically skipped answering TRAI’s questions on how the regulator could keep a check on neutrality violations committed by telcos, and instead asked the Government to finalise a net neutrality framework before getting into regulation. Idea and Vodafone were responding to TRAI’s public consultation on Net Neutrality which looks at issues like blocking, throttling of speeds, traffic management, among others. In the paper, TRAI mentioned that ISPs and telcos could disclose details about tariff packs, traffic management techniques employed on their networks, and other information to subscribers, general public which could help bring in transparency. Vodafone, however, suggested that current disclosures prescribed by TRAI “are sufficient” and that “any further requirements on transparency can be discussed /examined only when there is a definitive Government view on Net Neutrality.” Idea, which is merging with Vodafone, has also reiterated Vodafone’ stance that current TRAI guidelines for information disclosure cover transparency, and that a transparency law for net neutrality cannot be framed until all stakeholders including users reach a “common understanding” of net neutrality. “Any transparency principles laid down in the context of Net Neutrality should be made applicable to all…stakeholders of the internet eco-system as well and not to TSPs (telcos) alone.” Idea and Vodafone asks TRAI regulate apps under Net Neutrality Both Idea and Vodafone have also requested TRAI to bring the apps (called Over-The-Top or OTT in telco-speak) or Internet apps ‘riding on the Internet’ to be brought under the purview of the current net…
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