Telecom Commission backs net neutrality, approves new recommendations

File photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 11, 2018, 05.42 PM (IST)

The highest decision-making body in India's telecom ministry, the Telecom Commission, backed net neutrality as it approved new recommendations given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in a meeting on Wednesday.

"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 informed media after the meeting.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its recommendations, opposed the "discriminatory treatment of internet traffic", denying carriers the ability to charge more for data packages that include the use of apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp as it supported the principles of a free and open internet.

Under the latest recommendations, practices such as throttling of speed of certain websites and application, granting preferential speeds to give the "first lane" to some websites is prohibited.

The activists who were fighting for net neutrality has welcomed the decision but called on the government to release a timeframe for implementing the regulations.

News agency PTI also reported citing an official that Telcom Commission also approved the installation of around 12.5 lakh WiFi hotspot in all gram panchayats with viability gap funding of around Rs 6,000 crore by December 2018. 

The internet market of India is the world's second largest with about 200 million active monthly users as it took over the United States last year.

India is behind China which has 721 million active monthly users. 

It is also the world's second-largest smartphone market with about 260 users.

India's stand on net neutrality came at a time when the US had repealed it free internet rules and chose to allow internet providers to charge more for certain websites through commercial agreements.