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MediaNama’s comments to TRAI on Traffic Management and an advisory body for Net Neutrality

On June 24, we covered and participated in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s Open House Discussion on Traffic Management Practices and a Multi-Stakeholder Body for Net Neutrality. TRAI is taking submissions until June 29 on this consultation for those who were unable to attend or participate in Wednesday’s discussion.

Read our submission, filed on Saturday, here: MediaNama’s response to TRAI consultation on Traffic Management Practices and Multi-Stakeholder Body

Summary of MediaNama’s submission

In our submission, we argue that:

  • Telecom operators are violating the spirit of license terms by managing traffic unreasonably. Their instructions to internet companies to deliver lower-quality video (which some of the latter are still doing) are not proportionate, transient, or transparent. This illustrates why they cannot be left to determine what is reasonable and unreasonable traffic management by themselves.
  • The argument that browsers and devices should be regulated under Net Neutrality (“same services, same rules”) is fallacious and should be ignored — these ecosystem players do not determine access to the internet like ISPs do.
  • Telcos’ argument that Net Neutrality principles will not apply in 5G because of the complexity of these networks is misleading. Just because a technology is better capable of discrimination does not mean it should be allowed to discriminate.
  • We are opposed to an advisory body for Net Neutrality being created. There is a risk of regulatory capture in the worst case scenario, and an unnecessary extra power structure in the best case scenario. The Department of Telecommunications should enforce Net Neutrality by adjudicating on the basis of its past decisions.

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© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ