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Telecom Commission says yes to net neutrality, clears new policy

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In a remarkable move, the net neutrality rule has been approved by the Telecom Commission. Under this service providers will be prohibited from discriminating against Internet services and content by throttling, blocking or granting them higher speed access. Mission critical applications or services like remote surgery and autonomous cars has been kept out of the new rule.

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Confirming the news of net neutrality rule has been approved, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan told reporters, “The Telecom Commission today approved net neutrality as recommended by TRAI, except some critical services will be kept out of its purview.”

Adding more, the senior official stated that earlier under the TRAI recommendations, restriction were imposed on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet. But, now with Telecom Commission’s approval on the new Telecom policy – National Digital Communications Policy 2018 – and been sent for approval from the Union Cabinet as well.

Sundararajan said, “Everybody in the meeting today said that digital infrastructure is even more important than physical infrastructure for India. CEO of NITI Aayog (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.”

According to sources, the Telecom Commission has approved installation of around 12.5 lakh Wi-Fi hotspot in all gram panchayats with viability gap funding of around Rs 6,000 crore by December 2018, reports NDTV. Earlier in 2016, the fight for net neutrality in India was a hot topic when TRAI floated a consultation paper on the topic.

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