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Timeline: How the net neutrality debate opened up in India

How India dealt with net neutrality issue

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 28, 2017  | 16:23 IST
Timeline: How the net neutrality debate opened up in India

Dec 2014 - Airtel is first to announce plan to charge extra for calls or voice over Internet in India, faces backlash from #netneutrality proponents who say that plan is "anti-net neutrality". Airtel withdraws plan after a week

Jan 19, 2015 - Department of Telecom sets up committee of stakeholders - app makers, telcos, civil society and multi-stakeholder advisory groups - to examine the net neutrality in India

March 27, 2015 - Trai issues consultation paper on regulating over-the-top players where comments on network neutrality were invited for the first time - over 1 million responses are posted

Views are sought on regulatory framework for OTT services, principles of net neutrality, reasonableness of traffic management practices and transparency requirements

April 2015 -
Airtel introduces Zero Rating - allowing apps like Flipkart to pay for data used by consumers on Airtel's network; companies call off plan the next day facing backlash

May 2015 - DoT Committee submits report - acknowledges the need for net neutrality, suggests allowing legitimate traffic management

May 30, 2015 - Trai issues pre-consultation paper, aimed at identifying key issues within net neutrality to help TRAI proceed in the matter

December 9, 2015 - Trai begins consultation on differential pricing for data services

February 8, 2016 - Trai issues regulations restricting telcos from directly or indirectly charging discriminatory prices to consumers based on the content, apps, services

Trai Bans zero rating plans including Airtel Zero and Facebook's Free Basics

March 3, 2016 - DoT seeks Tari's recommendations on net neutrality

May 19, 2016 - Trai begins consultation on free data

May 30, 2016 - Trai gets pre-consultation paper on net neutrality - aims to narrow down on issues impacting net neutrality before coming out with a full-fledged consultation paper on the issue

December 19, 2016 - Trai gives recommendations on providing minimal amounts of free data for rural Indian consumers - recommendations sent to DoT

DoT sends back the recommendations to Trai for relook

January 4, 2017 -
Trai gives full consultation paper on net neutrality focused specifically on questions of requirements, design, scope and implementation of a net neutrality framework in India

November 28, 2017 - Trai issues India's first ever recommendations on net neutrality

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