The principles of net neutrality have been approved by the Telecom Commission, paving the way for unrestricted access to the internet in the country. The net neutrality rules bar service providers from discriminating against internet services and content by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access. These provisons mandate strict penalties for any deviation or violations.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended restrictions for service providers prohibiting them from engaging into agreements that could lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the internet. The only services exempted from the gamut of net neutrality are mission critical applications like autonomous vehicles or telemedicine, which may require faster speeds or internet lanes than others.
"The Telecom Commission (TC) today approved net neutrality as recommended by TRAI expect some critical services will be kept out of its purview," Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan was quoted as saying in a PTI report.
The Telecom Commission also approved the new telecom policy -- National Digital Communications Policy 2018 -- for seeking approval of the Union Cabinet, Sundararajan said.
"Everybody in the meeting today said that digital infrastructure is even more important than physical infrastructure for India... CEO of Niti Ayog (Amitabh Kant) said that for...districts, we must ensure digital infrastructure is provided at the earliest. Therefore, India must have ease of doing business and enabling policy environment," said the Telecom Secretary.
The commission has also approved the installation of around 12.5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspots in all gram panchayats with viability gap funding of around Rs 6,000 crore by December 2018, the PTI report said quoting an official presen at the meeting.