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India needs clear net neutrality rules for network management: Barbara van Schewick, Stanford law professor

Net neutrality rules need to enforce "application agnostic" rules, that is, internet providers should not discriminate against entire classes of services, like email or streaming video, Stanford law professor Barbara van Schewick wrote in her filing and countercomment to the TRAI. In contrast, Reliance Jio and Airtel have argued that slowing down certain types of data on the internet during congestion time should be allowed. Van Schewick cautioned against letting operators manage their networks that way. TRAI is seeking views from stakeholders on what a committee to enforce net neutrality should look like in India. It is also looking into issues related to traffic management practices as these could affect net neutrality. Van Schewick has over a decade of experience in net neutrality, and her work has influenced many jurisdictions' regulations on the subject, including India's. TRAI's discriminatory pricing ban on telcos in 2016 cites her research. Traffic management shouldn't discriminate Even during congestion time, van Schewick said, managing traffic in an application-agnostic way is a "critical part of leading net neutrality legislation around the world". TRAI's 2017 Net Neutrality recommendations already required this kind of classification, she argued. Key points made in her filing: Discriminating between data types would harm user experience: She cautioned that discriminating between types of data might harm user experience, because urgency and contexts vary, and are situation dependent. It wouldn't be possible for ISPs to determine context when discriminating. "For example, Internet telephony applications like Skype benefit from low delay, so ISPs may opt to give…

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