Over 60k public responses received on net neutrality

NEW DELHI: The government has extended the deadline for public comments on net neutrality and received over 60,000 responses so far on a DoT panel’s report on the subject.

On July 16, a panel of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has released its final report on Net Neutrality. The panel had recommended that “user rights on the Internet need to be ensured so that Telecom Service Providers/Internet Service Providers (TSPs/ISPs) do not restrict the ability of the user to send, receive, display, use, post any legal content, application or service on the Internet, or restrict any kind of lawful Internet activity or use.”

However, the report to some extent looked in favor of the telcos as it recommended that VoIP services bypass the existing licensing and regulatory regime resulting in a non-level playing field between telcos and OTT voice providers. It also mentioned that pricing arbitrage of OTT domestic voice services (they are currently largely free) may impact the pace of telecom infrastructure growth.

Given the huge response from the public, the government on Sunday extended the deadline for submission of net neutrality report.

The responses received in the public are against regulation of apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and the argument remains that net neutrality should not be defined by the telecom companies.

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