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Net Neutrality in India is a resolved issue: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Vaishnaw’s statement came as a response to a discussion in the parliament on net neutrality and TRAI consultation on the regulation of OTT communication services.

Net neutrality is a resolved issue, Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw said during the Lok Sabha question hour on December 13. Describing the timeline, Vaishnaw said that the debate on net neutrality began in 2015, with the Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) giving recommendations on the same in 2017, and that in 2018, the framework for the same was published which the government accepted. The government then modified the terms of the telecom license agreement to say that telcos cannot discriminate against content providers. "This is a well-established principle that is applicable, there are regular technical audits [to check for discrimination]. There have been no instances of discrimination in any of the technical audits." His statement came as a response to a discussion on net neutrality initiated by Member of Parliament (MP) Ritesh Pandey. Pandey brought attention to a TRAI consultation on the regulation of over-the-top (OTT) communication services conducted in July this year. He mentioned that bigger telcos have been urging smaller OTT providers to pay charges for providing their service on top of telecom services. To understand more of the issues at hand, you can read our extensive coverage of the consultation here. Concerns surrounding the removal of net neutrality: Pandey defined net neutrality as the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally without preference given to any particular website, service, or application. He highlighted that online platforms are useful in bringing about economic and social mobility in remote areas, like his constituency Ambedkar Nagar…

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