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Last Call: App bans and Network Fees, Delhi, August 10 #Ad

We’ve confirmed over 140 attendees for our discussion on ‘App Bans and Network Fees’, being held in Delhi on August 10. Join us to understand the implications of TRAI’s recent consultation paper on the regulation of OTT communication platforms and the selective banning of apps, with an amazing lineup of speakers and hard-hitting questions, apart from, of course, networking with a select group of people working in Tech Policy in India.

Register here

Event: Discussion on ‘OTT App Bans and Network Fees’

Date: Thursday, August 10, 2023
Time: 12:30 PM to 5:15 PM
Venue: The Lalit, Delhi

Agenda and confirmed speakers

  • 12:30 – 01:30 PM Networking registration and Lunch
  • 01:30 – 03:00 PM Understanding issues with banning of specific apps:
    • Jhalak Kakkar (CCG at NLU Delhi)
    • Maknoon Wani (Council for Strategic and Defense Research)
    • Samar Bansal (Lawyer)
    • Aditi Agrawal (Freelance technology journalist)
  • 03:00 – 04:00 PM Net Neutrality and collaborative frameworks between telcos and online services:
    • Amrita Chaudhary (CCAOI)
    • Rahil Chatterjee (Ikigai Law)
    • Nikhil Pahwa (MediaNama)
    • Vakasha Sachdev (Logically.AI)
  • 04:00 – 05:15 PM Regulation of online messaging and calling:
    • Neeti Biyani (ISOC)
    • Aman Taneja (Ikigai)
    • Sumeysh Srivastava (The Quantum Hub)
    • Nikhil Pahwa (MediaNama)

This discussion is being organised with support from Google and Meta, and in partnership with CCAOI, the Centre for Communications Governance at the National Law University (Delhi), the Centre for Internet and Society, and The Internet Freedom Foundation.

Key questions that you can expect answers for in our sessions:

Session 1: Understanding Issues with Banning OTT Communication Apps

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  • What’s the evidence to indicate that Internet bans (whether selective or otherwise) actually prevent public disturbances?
  • Why does TRAI want to venture into selective blocking—when content can anyway be blocked under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000? How is this different?
  • Do you need a separate regulation, or can selective banning be imagined/envisioned under existing blocking procedures?
  • How do we define which tech-enabled services get banned during a ‘selective’ ban?
  • Are there technical challenges to banning apps selectively? How do these differ for service providers (the apps/services), the government, etc?
  • How will selective bans on certain apps, and websites change the way Internet shutdowns are being ordered currently?
  • How do we ensure transparency, and ring-fencing of government powers, even in the case of selective bans?

Session 2: Net Neutrality and Collaborative Frameworks between Telcos and OTT communication platforms

  • Why is there a need for collaborative frameworks between OTT communications Apps and Telecom Operators?
  • What has changed since the previous TRAI consultations on OTT regulations and Net Neutrality?
  • What are the key arguments in the EU debate on network fees?
  • What is the criteria on the basis of which apps may be selected for contributing towards network expansion?
  • Based on what grounds can OTT communication platforms be required to contribute to the universal services obligation fund, like telecom companies are supposed to?
  • What are the competition concerns emerging from imposing the same regulations on OTT communication platforms and Telecom Operators?
  • On what basis can obligations for network fees be imposed only on OTT Communications apps, and not other applications?
  • How does the imposition of network fees impact how P2P ISP arrangements currently work?
  • What would be the impact of allowing telecom companies to create their own calling and messaging services, as recommended by the International Telecommunication Union?

Session 3: Regulation of online messaging and calling

  • How are messaging services defined, given that messaging is an integral part of many online services?
  • What does an authorisation framework for messaging applications look like? What could their obligations be?
  • What impact will imposition of a licensing/authorisation framework have on privacy and encryption?
  • What are the implications of the imposition of biometric authentication on messaging and calling apps?
  • Which ministry will regulate OTT messaging and calling apps?
  • Does the Same Service Same Rules argument that telecom operators make apply to messaging and calling apps?
  • How will such regulations impact email?

We have published a reading list to help you prepare for the discussion.


  • This is an invite-only event with limited capacity. In case you fit with our mandate for a curated audience, we’ll send you a confirmation note separately.
  • Your contact information will never be shared with anyone outside of MediaNama.
  • MediaNama’s subscriber-members get priority and guaranteed access to all our events, along with hybrid access. You can subscribe to MediaNama to support our work.

Note: The list of the panelists for the first session is updated. 

This is an advertisement for MediaNama’s event. MediaNama’s Native Advertising policy can be seen here, and past ads here.

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